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Local student tackles suspect

Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Updated: Monday, April 25, 2011 21:04

A burglary suspect was arrested last week after a UTM student held him down.
Wallace Sowell, 55, of Dresden faces charges of possession of stolen property and attempted assault.According to a Martin Police Department report, officer Guy Pryor responded to the Chaos parking lot area of Church Street about 2 a.m. Monday, Nov. 1.

Pryor reported that one man was holding the other man down in the parking lot. Joshua Mertes, a UTM criminal justice major who lives on Eunice Street, was holding Sowell captive in the lot until Pryor arrived.


According to the report and a witness, Mertes heard what sounded like a car door handle. He stepped outside his residenceSowell, pinning him against the rocks. Mertes then placed Sowell in a headlock and held him down until the police could arrive.

PTL. Pryor was the first responding officer on the scene. As Pryor arrived at the site of the struggle, he saw Mertes holding Sowell down. He then took control of Sowell allowing Mertes to rest and stop his face from bleeding.

Pryor checked Sowell's pockets and located a Magellan GPS on his person that was discovered to be stolen and was later returned to its owner. Sowell was then taken into custody and transported for booking procedures.

"I have had several items stolen from my vehicle so when I confronted the suspect and he took off my first instinct was to chase him and end this string of robberies," Mertes said.

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