A pair of armed citizens in Des Arc, Arkansas helped police capture a murder suspect who had escaped a local jail hours earlier after overpowering guards, and the local sheriff is praising the actions of the two men.
According to KATV in Arkansas, Earl Parks, who was being held in the Prairie County jail accused of murder in the death of his girlfriend, attacked two guards with the help of fellow inmate Craig Gilliam. The pair managed to get the keys off the guards and took off, and while Gilliam was apprehended just a few minutes later, authorities had no idea where Parks had run off. Approximately eight hours after Parks escaped custody, Sheriff Rick Hickman got a call from a local resident, informing him that Parks had been found, and was being held at gunpoint to prevent his escape.
Brad Knupp was just getting to work when he noticed something was off about the old car he’s fixing up. He said, “Something didn’t look normal to me in the backseat, and I looked a little closer and i could tell that this guy was laying down in the back seat of my car.”
Once he realized it was Parks, Knupp and his father held him at gunpoint until he was taken into custody. “We were yelling pretty loud at him. He came on out of the car slowly,” said Knupp.
It’s something he would do all over again if he had to, saying, “I just felt like I did what I needed to do to get him out of the car and hold him there until law enforcement could get there.”
Hickman told the press that he wasn’t surprised that Knupp and his father were able to help capture the suspect.
“It’s just a good little county, you know. I knew that they would help and anybody who saw him would’ve called us or done the same thing, jumped out with their gun and held him if they could’ve.”
The two guards assaulted by Parks and his accomplice didn’t suffer major injuries, according to the sheriff, and should be back to work soon.
Parks is back behind bars now and facing additional charges for assault and escape. The 47-year old had been held in the Prairie County Jail since late January, after authorities found the body of Christy Rooks in a shallow grave on a rural property not far from Des Arc. Parks was taken into custody and charged with Rooks’ murder, as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm. Hopefully he stays put from here on out, but if not, it sounds like the good people of Prairie County are ready to protect and defend themselves.