Citizens help with police foot chase 2011.07.13

Written by David Green.

What would you do if you looked up and saw a young man running by followed closely behind by a police officer? Stand and watch the show or give chase?

Three Morenci men decided last week to join in the chase—a good thing for Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks who  had already sprinted several blocks.

The incident began at the police station Thursday when Weeks was interviewing an 18-year-old domestic violence suspect. When it became apparent that the man was about to be arrested, he ran out the door and headed north up the alley toward Main Street.

From there he ran west and crossed the street and traveled up the alley adjacent to the library. That’s when he was spotted by three people in the city parking lot behind the Deli.

“This sort of thing doesn’t happen in Morenci,” one of them told Chief Weeks later. It took a little while for it all to sink in before he realized that he was watching an actual police chase.

The three, who wish to remain anonymous, gave chase and tackled the suspect after he ran through a yard and reached Locust Street. There he was subdued and hand-cuffed.

The chief stated his appreciation for what they did and noted that it’s possible he wouldn’t have been able to catch the suspect on his own.

At the same time, he said that he can’t recommend that citizens take that same approach for their own safety, particularly not knowing whether someone fleeing could be armed.

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