Daniels remembered as exceptional athlete, charming friend
A gay Dallas massage therapist who jumped through a window to escape a home invasion by a gunman last week died from sharp force injury, according to the Dallas County medical examiner.
Sansinski “Sam” Daniels, 43, died from the wounds he received to his neck and head after he crashed through the bedroom window of his apartment.
Daniels was well known in Dallas, and his death came as a shock to many, including Bryan Amann, who had known him since about 1992. Amann met Daniels in Birmingham, Ala., at a softball tournament.
Amann lived in Miami at the time, and Daniels lived in Dallas. A year later, Amann moved to Dallas, ran into Daniels and they forged a friendship. They played together in the Gay World Series in Seattle during the mid-1990s.
“He was an exceptional athlete,” Amann said.
Daniels, who was an athlete at the University of Texas at Arlington, was named to the university’s Hall of Fame for his accomplishments in track and field.
Amann said Daniels was the type of person who always surrounded himself with friends.
“There seemed to be someone with him at all times,” Amann said.
“He was fun to be around and would often would leave you in stitches with his wit and his southern drawl.”
Amann said he remembers Daniels calling him one day and asking him if he wanted his car. He told Amann the car had died, and he had left it on the side of the road.
“That was just like him,” Amann said. “He could walk away from a problem.”
Amann said in recent years, he had seen Daniels occasionally: “I would run into him somewhere, and we would try to catch up, but that was it,” Amann said.
Daniels, who had also worked recently promoting African-American nights at The Brick, was trying to escape two men who came to his apartment in the 4500 block of Cedar Springs Road demanding money the night he died.
One of the men was armed with a handgun, and Daniels feared for his life, according to a Dallas Police Department report. The men reportedly barged into the apartment as an acquaintance of the apartment’s residents was entering the door.
Daniels died at Parkland Memorial Hospital about an hour after he was injured.
The case is being investigated as a murder, but no charges have been filed in the case yet, according to the report. The suspects may face capital murder charges because they allegedly caused him to jump through the window.
Sr. Cpl. Janice Crowther said last week that drugs appeared to be involved in the crime.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, September 8, 2006.