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OKLAHOMA CITY: Could police have prevented Yukon tragedy?

By Augie Frost Modified: September 6, 2007 at 7:25 pm •  Published: September 6, 2007
Five days before a 16-year-old Yukon girl was stabbed to death, she and her dad complained to Oklahoma City police that she had been repeatedly raped and threatened with guns and knives by the girl's 32-year-old ex-boyfriend and former alternative school drill instructor, who later killed her.

Oklahoma City police never contacted the teacher before the killing, a department spokesman said Wednesday. They also didn't interview two other teenagers the Yukon girl reported also were having sex with the man they all met as students at a Canadian County alternative school, the department spokesman said.

It took two days before the case was assigned to a police officer, Oklahoma City police Capt. Steve McCool said.

"The police department cannot protect everyone against violence. We just can't,” McCool said. "We give people advice on the ways they can help themselves, but we can't put a 24-hour bodyguard with them.”

Former drill instructor Robert Paul Roberson went to the apartment of stabbing victim Bailey Rian Thrasher about midnight Friday, abducted her at gunpoint and led a Yukon police officer and Canadian County deputy on a brief chase. Officers were able to run Roberson's car off the road, but were forced to shoot him to death when they walked to the car window and saw him stabbing Bailey.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating whether officers were justified in firing their weapons, said Jessica Brown, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman.

Information also is being compiled that will be used to help educate law officers about how to avoid similar tragedies in the future, Brown said.

"There are so many reasons this shouldn't have happened,” Brown said, referring to a series of events that unfolded during the past two years.

Report filed days earlier
On Aug. 27, Bailey went to Oklahoma City police and accused Roberson of having sexual relations with her and two other students from a Canadian County alternative school, where Roberson was a drill sergeant until he resigned in May. Bailey had been attending school in the spring of 2006 because of drug problems.

The police report was filled out by hand by Bailey and her dad, Darin Thrasher, on Aug. OCPD crime report Yukon stabbing 911 call: Warning! Explicit profanity

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Oklahoma City police sex crimes division
• The division consists of six detectives.

• They investigate the following crimes: rape, sexual battery, indecent exposure, indecent liberties, sodomy, child abuse, child neglect, peeping toms and obscene phone calls.

• Oklahoma City police Capt. Steve McCool said the division investigates about 100 new cases a month. The division is adequately equipped to handle that workload, he said.

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