Police Officer Mixon honored by FBI director

Published 3:00 pm Thursday, July 1, 2010

Picayune Police Dept. Patrolman Ettienne Mixon was honored by the FBI on Wednesday afternoon in ceremonies at the police department for his role in the apprehension of a suspect wanted in connection with the robbery of three banks in three states.

FBI special agent Kevin Rust of Hattiesburg handed Mixon a certificate of appreciation signed by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and shook his hand, as Picayune Chief of Police Jim Luke looked on.

Said Luke, “I am extremely proud of Officer Mixon for his courage and dedication. He is a professional officer in every way.”

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The certificate, signed personally by Mueller, said that the FBI and its agents were extremely appreciative of Patrolman Mixon’s work in helping to apprehend the suspect, Terrance James Hardy, 51, of Ocean Springs, who, it is alleged, was involved in the three robberies.

Hardy is  being held in Hattiesburg and has been charged there in a bank holdup in Hattiesburg. Federal charges in all three holdups are pending, Rust said.

Mixon saw Hardy’s vehicle swerve at 1:23 a.m. on Thursday, June 3, as Hardy turned onto Sycamore Road off of Interstate 59. The officer pulled Hardy over and smelled alcohol when he approached the vehicle, Mixon said. Mixon asked Hardy where he was going, and Hardy told him to use the bathroom. Then Hardy suddenly sped off heading east on Sycamore Road.

Mixon called for backup and pursued Hardy down Sycamore Road. When Hardy went through the intersection of Stegall and Sycamore Road, his vehicle hit a culvert and flipped over. Mixon apprehended Hardy after the crash. Hardy was slightly injured in the accident.

Mixon said a pistol was found in Hardy’s car along with $3,000 in cash and drug paraphernalia, Federal Reserve bank bags and some canvas bags.

Also found in the vehicle was a notebook containing the addresses of several banks.

Video from bank surveillance cameras show Hardy was allegedly involved in the holdups. Shortly before Hardy was arrested here, there were several bank holdups in Picayune, but police believe he had nothing to do with the Picayune holdups.

The three holdups police believe he was connected with were in Hattiesburg, and in Jackson, Tenn., and Fort Walton, Fla.

Hardy originally supplied police here with a false identity. He was traveling under the alias Kumis Broom, Jr., using a Florida driver’s license. An investigation shows that Hardy is from Ocean Springs, but has not lived there since 2003.

The chase was video taped by a camera mounted on Mixon’s dash and was shown to the city council recently, as the also council honored Mixon for his service.