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.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
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    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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