DALLAS -- Alan Carter sat on his front porch and winced in pain each time he moved the wrong way. It took eight days for him to gain the strength to even sit up long enough to tell his story.
"There's a bruise here," he said, pointing to his left side, "and it crushed two ribs, then went across my arm here," he said, pointing to a large, purple-and-yellow bruise on his right arm.
He was still weak and winded. He had to catch is breath between thoughts.
"Two days I was in intensive care, because he punctured a lung, broke my ribs, lacerated my spleen," Carter said.
He's a strong man -- a tall, 240-pound weight lifter, in addition to being a newspaper carrier. Every morning he delivers The Dallas Morning News to 400 customers in East Dallas.
Around 3:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 23, Carter had just started his route. He was inside a gated apartment complex in the 2500 block of John West Road, near La Prada.
He left his truck for just over a minute, he said, to hand deliver a few papers to people's porches. When Carter returned, he saw someone trying to steal his vehicle. He didn't see the two other suspects coming up behind him.
"I got clocked on the side of the head from something -- I mean hard," he said. "I went to the ground. I didn't know what happened."
He stood up and got hit again. That's when the suspects jumped in the truck and began to take off.
"He drove up on the curb, and that's when I jumped up on the driver's side," Carter said. "The window was down. I don't know what I was gonna do, but I was trying to do something."
He held onto the window while the suspects drove off. They dragged him and ran over him.
"Yeah, I think I'm lucky," Carter said.
But he can't understand why this happened.
"It's a Ford Ranger -- it's not a popular truck to steal." Carter said. "And it was full of papers! It makes no sense. Why would you want to steal a truck loaded down like that? A small truck. Where are you going to go?
"The last thing you want is a bunch of junk in the back, and this was full of Sunday newspapers," Carter continued. "I'd just started the route."
The truck was found abandoned in southern Dallas. Carter said he assumes the suspects ran out of gas.
They stole his wallet and cell phone, too.
"When I got to the hospital, I had nobody to call. I had no numbers. They're all in the phone," he said. "Who remembers numbers anymore? They're all programmed in."
Carter lives alone. He was in intensive care for two days, and it took a few more days for any of his friends or co-workers to find him.
When word got out on his route, his customers began sending him cards. They call him a conscientious, top-notch carrier.
The suspects haven't been found, but Carter won't be stopped. His supplies are sitting just inside his front door.
He says once his strength is back, he will be too.