Rumor was flying in McKinney last month, due to a couple of horrifying incidents on or around Pine Street.

“I’ve spent the past few weeks doing major rumor control”, says neighborhood beat cop Wendy Bell, who didn’t witness either incident, but was definitely around for the fallout.

In the first incident, which took place in the early afternoon of November 29, a man became violently ill and collapsed over a car in front of the A of D branch on Pine Street. He was coughing up copious amounts of blood, so the crowd that gathered figured perhaps he’d been attacked by someone or hit by a car.

One bystander, recognizing that the man was suffering a dire medical emergency, in any case, remembered that he’d seen a paramedic’s van a block away, and he hightailed it down Pine Street in search of the ambulance.

Unfortunately, two other bystanders saw the Good Samaritan running toward McKinney and assumed he’d assaulted the man in front of the A of D. They immediately gave chase, grabbing the “culprit” before he could reach the paramedics. Meanwhile, other people had called 911, and an ambulance and police cars converged within minutes.

Sadly, there was not much the medics could do, Bell said. The man (whose name was withheld) had not been hit by a car or attacked but was undergoing the violent death throes of lung cancer. Resuscitation proved useless, and he was pronounced dead at McKinney General Hospital later that afternoon.

In an unrelated but equally dramatic incident a couple of days later, many McKinney citizens thought they were experiencing a deja vu of the runaway car accident on Main Street of a year and a half ago — either that or a kidnapping attempt, Bell said. What they saw was a pickup truck — with two men struggling in the flat-bed — careening down Church Street from the Victoria, running slop signs all along the way.