High school student tackles stealing suspect

Monday, May 23, 2011

JONESBORO, Ark. -- A Poplar Bluff, Mo., teen is credited with thwarting a robbery last Sunday in Jonesboro.

Luke Latourette, 17, a junior at Poplar Bluff High School, was helping a friend collect ticket money Sunday afternoon for a baseball tournament at Joe Mack Campbell Park in Jonesboro. Suddenly a young man approached them from behind, grabbed a bag with close to $1,500 in proceeds and fled. Latourette, a linebacker for the PBHS Mules, didn't want to let him get away with the money.

"I was pretty offended," Latourette said. "I was pretty angry that he'd just come up and steal the money. I felt like I had to stop him or at least stop his getaway."

At one point the suspect stopped, when he realized he could not outrun Latourette.

"I told him to give me the money back," Latourette said. "He told me he'd kill me. When he tried to run off I tackled him."

Although he made threats, the other teen did not appear to have a weapon, according to Latourette.

"He wasn't a very big guy and I figured when he turned around and said he would kill me, if he had a weapon he would've pulled it then," he said.

After Latourette tackled the suspect, two females pulled Latourette off him and all three left in a Pontiac Grand Am, according to Jonesboro Police Department patrolman Keith Baggett. Latourette also noted the car's license plate number.

Bill Latourette said he is proud of his son, although the situation made him nervous.

"You're scared for your child when something like that happens," he said.

"I thought he was extremely intelligent to not get too close to him until he could see he didn't have any weapon," Bill Latourette added.

A suspect, Marquette Hicks, 19, no regular home address, was charged later in the week with felony terroristic threatening and robbery. His bond was set at $5,000 and he will appear in Arkansas circuit court June 30.

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