When Christiana, Tennessee homeowner Patrick Hale saw the two Georgia fugitives, who had already murdered two prison guards on the prison bus from which they escaped and held an elderly couple hostage in their own home, running across a field towards him and his daughter, he wasn’t entirely sure what to do.
The headlines proclaimed that Hale held Donnie Rowe, 43, and Ricky Dubose, 24, “at gunpoint” until police arrived, but the difference between that portrayal and what actually happened perhaps makes the story even more remarkable, and miraculous.
After a friend alerted the 35-year-old Hale to the likelihood of the fugitives being in his area, he took all precautions, including loading his weapons. But his first instinct wasn’t to be a hero, it was to protect his daughter.
“I loaded every weapon I could in my house to be prepared in the event that they needed to be used,” Hale told reporters. “I called 911 and made the decision to either get in our panic room and be trapped or get in our car and head down the road. I grabbed my sweet daughter and got in the car.”
After a long chase that involved several stolen vehicles and an elderly Shelbyvlle couple bound in their own home, the suspects wrecked the final car they had stolen and ran onto Hale’s property. The men were running towards his house and Hale wasn’t about to be there to greet them, but suddenly something odd happened.
“[The men] took off their shirts and waived them at us as if to slow us down.”
A surrender gesture because, Hale believes, the fugitives mistook his car for a law enforcement vehicle.
According to Hale, who spoke to reporters with his wife, Danielle, and daughter Taylor beside him: “My vehicle looks very much like a police cruiser. I realized I had two ex-cons wanted for murder who had just shot at law enforcement who had nothing to lose and for some reason they surrendered and laid down on the concrete in my driveway.”
Within three agonizing minutes, police arrived. And though he had his weapon ready, he never actually had to draw it.
“‘I cannot tell you how grateful I was to see them arrive,” said Hale.
As far as the “gunpoint” story, one that that originally came from Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Bill Miller, Hale was quick to set the record straight.
“I had a weapon on me, but I never had to draw the weapon as has been in the news.”
Hale’s weapons, and the Second Amendment, were there to protect him if necessary, but as it turned out the protection he got was far greater than that.
“If that doesn’t make you believe in Jesus Christ, I don’t know what does,” Hale told reporters at some point after he snapped a picture of the fugitives lying down on his concrete driveway, shirtless, spread-eagled and surrounded by law enforcement.
It was exactly as they appeared before anyone had arrived, when they abruptly surrendered and assumed the position without a word to Hale, with neither a drawn weapon nor a badge.
Watch News 2’s coverage below:
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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