Derek Whitener

WFAA Channel 8 is reporting that police have arrested one of two suspects in the Jan. 14 attack on Derek Whitener that left the theater director/actor with injuries that required him to undergo brain surgery.

The first suspect, a juvenile, was taken into custody tonight (Friday, Jan. 27). The second suspect remained at large as of 10:30 p.m.

Whitener, artistic director at Firehouse Theatre in Farmers Branch, stopped at the Target on Haskell Street on his way home after performing in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”at the theater. Two young men approached him, one carrying a wooden rod. He went past them into the store and reported them to the police officer working security inside. The officer and a Target employee then went out and told the two young men to leave the premises.

But when Whitener left the store later, the two suspects attacked him. One beat him with the wooden rod, leaving him with a fractured skull and injuries that impair his ability to speak and his motor functions.

The suspect still at large is described at about 5’9” and 150 pounds. He was wearing a black hoodie and red jeans at the time of the attack. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 214-671-3639 or Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS/

Friends have started a GoFundMe page to help pay Whitener’s medical expenses.

The man in the black hoodie and red-and-blue jeans, above right, is still at large.