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16-Year-Old Athlete Jumps In To Help Cop Struggling With Drug-Fueled Suspect

Jonesburg, MO – A 16-year-old high school athlete didn’t hesitate to help a Jonesburg police officer when he saw him struggling to arrest a suspect on Tuesday.

The incident occurred outside a convenience store on June 22, after Jonesburg police received a report that a man who appeared to be impaired was prepping up to drive off in a vehicle, WDAF reported.

“As I entered, this person didn’t look like he was doing so well, had a hypodermic needle in his pocket,” Jonesburg Police Officer Len Sylcox recounted.

When Officer Sylcox approached the suspect’s vehicle, the man immediately became noncompliant, WDAF reported.

“He said, ‘I’m not going to jail today,’ and takes off running,” the officer explained.

Officer Sylcox chased the suspect down, catching up with him in a nearby muddy field, WDAF reported.

The officer said he grabbed onto the suspect’s shirt and pulled him down towards the ground, losing his footing in the process.

“My feet slipped out from under me, and I actually pulled him on top of me,” Officer Sylcox told WDAF.

Gunner Sexton, 16, and two adult men saw the brawl going down and ran over to help the struggling officer.

“We all helped as a combined effort to end up getting the guy off of him,” Sexton told WDAF.

The high school baseball, football, and track athlete, who stands six feet, five inches tall and weighs about 235 pounds, downplayed his involvement in the apprehension during an interview with the news outlet.

“I didn’t really do too much,” Sexton said of the ordeal. “I thought it was necessary to help because he was in need.”

He said he drew from his football coach’s mantra to “do the right thing when no one’s looking.”

But Officer Sylcox said the Good Samaritans are nothing shy of heroes.

“They’re heroic. It’s awesome,” he told WDAF. “It’s heroic for people to come out and help the police.”

It is unclear what charges the suspect is facing.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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