Good Guy With Gun Captures Fleeing Suspect During Pursuit

A good Samaritan helped capture a fleeing suspect.

Joplin, MO – A citizen with a firearm stopped a suspect who was fleeing police after a car chase last Sunday.

The incident began when a Newton County sheriff’s deputy initiated a traffic stop for a speeding car at the intersection of Apricot and Coyote Drive at about 9:15 a.m. on May 27.

The vehicle did not stop for the deputy, so he pursued it, according to KZRG radio.

The Newton County deputy followed the car as it fled across the county line into Jasper County.

At that point, Missouri State Highway Patrol and Joplin PD joined the chase to assist the deputy, KZRG reported.

The suspect vehicle crashed into a fence at Faith Tabernacle Church in Joplin, after the driver lost control on a curve, according to KZRG radio.

The driver, 35-year-old Eric Hillstead remained in the car after the wreck. But his passenger, 41-year-old Lenny Turner, tried to make a run for it.

Fortunately, a Good Samaritan with a gun blocked Turner’s path as he fled, and then chased him.

The citizen knocked Turner to the ground and held him at gunpoint until police arrived to take him into custody, KZRG reported.

Police said that the driver had two warrants from Joplin at the time he was captured.

Hillstead was wanted for DWI and for harassment, according to KZRG.

KZRG reported that Turner was wanted on three warrants from Webb City and four warrants from Jasper County.

Both men will be charged with resisting arrest in addition to the other charges they had pending, the Newton County Sheriff’s Office told KZRG. Police said they also found drug paraphernalia in the suspect vehicle.

No one was injured during the chase or the subsequent crash. Both suspects were being held in the Newton County jail.

Comments (7)
No. 1-7

I hope this becomes a trend. Of course, I know that won't happen in places like Chicago and Baltimore, but in the rest of the country where normal law abiding citizens live.


I'm not sure if that's legal. This sounds like a near-future lawsuit.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Interesting from a legal point of view. The police were trying to stop the driver, not the passenger, so maybe he is allowed to leave before the police get there? Or maybe there is some law against him leaving the scene? Can passengers leave the scene of an accident? I know drivers can't, but I think passengers can.


You never know, maybe they were after the passenger, saw him get into a vehicle. Maybe he had warrants that they were trying to serve, guess we’ll wait for more information. Logical thing to do, since none of us were there.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

The story says that they were after a speeding car. Doubtful that they id'd the passenger prior to his flight from the scene of the accident.

ON EDIT: Even if they were trying to arrest the passenger, not sure that that matters because chasing the driver would not communicate to the passenger that the police were attempting to arrest the passenger.