Victim assaulted by person of interest in Audrii Cunningham case wishes he ‘would have shot him’

A man once assaulted by Don McDougal, the person of interest in the disappearance of 11-year-old Texas girl Audrii Cunningham, says his “one regret” is not shooting him.

McDougal, a 42-year-old career criminal who has spent time behind bars for enticing a child, is the last person known to be with Audrii, who has not been seen since Thursday morning, authorities said.

McDougal, who is currently in the Polk County Jail on an unrelated charge, has an extensive rap sheet with several violent convictions, including one for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 2010, Fox 26 reported.

Elic Bryan III, who was attacked by Don Steven McDougal, the person of interest in the disappearance of 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham, said he wishes he’d have shot the career criminal. KRIV

The victim in that case, Elic Bryan III, worked with McDougal at a local garage — and said he “seemed like an all right guy” until he turned violent one night after a few drinks.

“We threw him out of the house, and he came back with a knife, slashed tires, tried to stab me with the knife,” Bryan told Fox 26.

Law enforcement believes there is foul play involved in Audrii Cunningham’s disappearance.
Audrii Cunningham disappeared on Thursday. Family Handout

“I had to run him off with a gun and the cops finally came out with dogs and got him,” he said, calling the incident “terrifying.”

“​He seemed like a nice guy, but he’s got this whole other side to him that no one seemed to know about until now,” Bryan said.

“I wish I would have shot him, to be honest with you. That’s my one regret. Didn’t want to do it then because it would make you feel bad. But looking back, maybe I should have,” he told the outlet.

McDougal is a friend of the girl’s family and has been living behind their home in a trailer. KRIV

“With all the allegations against him, he’s not a nice guy, apparently. Something is wrong with him in the head,” Bryan said, adding that he can personally relate to what Audrii’s family is going through.

“I lost my daughter when she was seven to cancer. So, I know how it is and this right here is even worse because there’s no closure,” he said. “I hope she’s alive and well somewhere because losing a child is… like I said nothing compares to it.”

Audrii, father, grandmother and other relatives, vanished in what authorities believe involved foul play as they continue a desperate search for the girl.

McDougal, who is a friend of the girl’s family, has been living behind their home in a trailer, Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons said Monday.

Don Steven McDouga KRIV

He left the house with her but hasn’t answered whether she ever reached the bus stop he was supposed to take her to, Lyons told reporters. 

“We do feel at this point that he was the last person who’s seen Audrii,” he said.

McDougal also served a prison sentence for enticing a child, a third-degree felony, more than a decade ago, KPRC reported.

He was initially indicted on a charge of attempted indecency with a child for allegedly attempting sexual contact with a girl in 2007 before he pleaded to the enticement charge in 2008 in another county.

McDougal did not have to register as a sex offender after that case, authorities said Monday.

Crime Stoppers has increased the reward for information leading to the recovery of Audrii to $10,000.

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