The 86-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man killed while trying to fight off a car thief Wednesday was a long-time owner of a bar and grill.
Frank Davila was known as Frankie D, the name of the bar and grill he owned on Kansas Avenue for more than 40 years, according to his son, Frankie Davila.
“He fought back,” Davila said of his father. “He went out in a blaze of glory.”
Kansas City, Kan., police said that Davila died just after 10 a.m. Wednesday after he confronted someone trying to steal his pickup truck in the 700 block of Pacific Avenue. During the struggle, he was dragged down the street and fatally injured.
The thief fled in the vehicle, a red 1998 Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck, which was later found unoccupied across the state line in Kansas City. Authorities were trying to identify the owner or occupants of a white Infinity with a black trunk lid seen leaving the scene. (Update: Police found the white car and now are looking for persons of interest.)
His son said that Davila had just gone to breakfast with his sister and had dropped her off at her house when he was attacked.
The elder Davila grew up just around the corner from where he was killed. He served in the U.S. Army for four years in the 1950s.
His son said he was committed to the community and went out of his way to spend his money with local businesses.
He owned the bar and grill while also working for 46 years for the Santa Fe Railroad.
He was active and about a decade ago was featured in a newspaper article with a picture of him on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
“He lived a great life,” his son said. “He lived life to the fullest.”
Davila was also friends with many Kansas City, Kan., police officers, and his son said Wednesday that he was confident his father’s killers would be brought to justice.
“They messed with the wrong guy,” he said.
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