Concerned citizens help lead to arrest

Saturday, September 9, 2017
Courtesy of Clay County Justice Center

Two concerned citizens helped lead to the arrest of a Vigo County man on felony charges after an altercation with police.

“We need the public to report more incidents like this,” said Clay City Police Chief Terry Skaggs, who responded to the report of a man “tweaking out” in a truck at the Dollar General parking lot in Clay City Friday morning. “That person had a medical background, was able to recognize the signs/symptoms and reported the potentially dangerous situation.”

Upon arrival Skaggs parked his patrol vehicle behind a parked pickup truck where a man was banging his head around inside the cab and acting strange. The man was identified as Kurtis A. Wilson, 29, Terre Haute.

Skaggs questioned Wilson briefly, who said he was with another person inside the store. As the officer went to check with the store personnel, Skaggs said that’s when Wilson started the truck and began to back up.

“When I opened the door to tell him to stop, the motion of the truck tried to slam it shut and it hit my arm,” said Skaggs, who admitted the situation escalated quickly. “It was very difficult to take the suspect into custody after that.”

As the officer struggled with Wilson on the ground in the parking lot, the store manager came outside and provided assistance by using the patrol car radio to notify other officers in the area of the situation.

CCPD Assistant Chief Terry Silvers was the next officer on the scene to help, with members of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Indiana State Police also arriving to provide backup.

“When something like that happens every officer comes to help who can,” Skaggs, who wasn’t seriously injured during the incident, said. “I’d like to praise the two private citizens who helped police during this incident. They definitely helped to make their community safer.”

Wilson was taken into custody on felony charges of criminal recklessness with a vehicle, resisting law enforcement, auto theft and driving while suspended when booked into the Clay County Justice Center Friday.

Upon further investigation officials discovered Wilson was wanted for an active warrant for resisting law enforcement/arrest out of Vigo County. Skaggs said the truck was also discovered to be stolen.

Wilson is currently being held to make an appearance in Vigo County for the warrant at the jail, but does have a $10,000 bond with no 10 percent allowed for the new charges filed by the Clay City Police Department.

Although official estimates for the damages to the patrol vehicle are not available, Skaggs said it could total more than $5,000 to the front bumper area.

“I would hate to think what could have happened if that situation hadn’t been stopped in the parking lot,” Skaggs said. “I really want to say thank you to the two people who took a proactive approach to something they saw was wrong, and then did something about it.”

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