The two off-duty officers, strangers to one another, happened to be in the right place at the right time when a suspect took off from a Monroe County deputy.
The off-duty officers were driving their personal vehicles on Sunday morning when they both saw a man run away from a Monroe County Sheriff's deputy. Each man stopped, got out of his vehicle, and took off after the fleeing man, said Monroe County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Pauli.
Toledo police officer John Mattimore, an 18-year veteran of the department, called out to Monroe County Deputy Mary Linzie that he was an off-duty officer.
She hollered that the man fleeing, Jimmy Wayne Clayton, 60, had a murder warrant — he was, actually, wanted in Tennessee for violating parole after his release from prison. He had previously served time for a murder conviction, Sergeant Pauli said.
Officer Mattimore and Jim Eaton, an off-duty corrections officer from the Michigan Department of Corrections, chased after Clayton, who is originally from Shelbyville, Tenn.
“Mattimore did, like a linebacker, tackle the suspect,” Sergeant Pauli said.
Deputy Linzie was on patrol, driving on Sterns Road near Whiteford Center Road, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday when she saw the suspect walking along the roadway carrying a duffel bag.
She stopped the man, ran his name in an electronic database, and found he was wanted in Tennessee. As she tried to put him in handcuffs, Clayton pulled away and took off running.
“This guy was being pursued by a uniformed police officer and when he got away, he ran into two unmarked officers who didn't know each other,” Sergeant Pauli said. “It was the worst-case scenario for him.”
It was the best-case scenario for law enforcement.
Clayton was not armed and only clothing was in his duffel bag. It was not known how Clayton got to Monroe County from Tennesse, how long he’s been in the area, or why he was in the area. He did tell investigators that he was “walking from I-75 to Adrian,” Sergeant Pauli said.
Information about Clayton's past conviction was not available.
Clayton remains in the Monroe County jail pending extradition to Tennessee.