Citizen assists in capture of fleeing suspect

Published 7:00 am Friday, December 27, 2019

Pearl River County resident Terry Penton assisted a local Sheriff’s Deputy David Farmer in capturing a fleeing suspect on Christmas Eve.

The incident began after Farmer pulled over a vehicle the morning of Dec. 24 for a traffic violation. During the stop, a passenger of the vehicle fled on foot, said Maj. Joe Quave. Farmer saw the suspect getting a way, and decided to chase the fleeing passenger, later identified as 38-year old Thomas Hudgins of Ceasar Road, on foot.

Penton was at a nearby gas station when Farmer made the stop, and drove a short distance before he joined in the chase, which lasted several thousands of yards. Penton helped the deputy take Hudgins into custody, Quave said.

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Hudgins had outstanding warrants for grand larceny and for previously resisting arrest about seven to 10 days prior, Quave said. He was additionally arrested for resisting arrest for the incident Tuesday.

“We were more than appreciative of Terry’s help,” Quave said. “We appreciate all the help we can get. The community is very important to what we do, whether through tips and information or like what Terry did.”

The department was very thankful for Penton’s efforts, Quave said.

“He’s a great example for how citizens can help us,” Quave said.

It is important for people to be aware of what is going on when they see officer activity and remember that situations can be different from one another, said Quave.

In a violent situation, unlike this one, it is important for community members to act as witnesses, Quave said. In violent situations it is also important to remember that officers may have more information about the details of an ongoing situation than bystanders, Quave said.