Man recalls finding escaped suspect in garbage can

Man recalls finding escaped suspect in garbage can
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Law enforcement officers in Craighead and Poinsett counties are calling the man who found Jonathan Ware in his garbage can a hero.

Deputies quickly responded to the home of Dale Smith in Jonesboro.

Video shows the deputy cart the garbage can away from the house with Ware still inside. The deputy was moving Ware away from the homeowner and the homeowner's gun, which was on the ground.

Smith, a retired marine, doesn't see himself as a hero.

Wednesday started off like any other day for Smith.

He walked his wife to her car around 6:15 a.m.

"I walked over here and noticed the trash can had been pulled away from the wall," Smith said.

At first he thought the wind blew the trash car away from the home.

"I put my hand on it, sort of raised it up this much, looked in it, and saw the man there," Smith said.

Ware was inside the trash can in the fetal position. He didn't even acknowledge Smith opened the lid.

"I just eased it back down and said "Honey, I will see you tonight when you get home from work,"" Smith said.

Smith's wife went off to work without knowing Ware was in the trash can.

After she drove off, Smith went inside and call 911.

The dispatcher encouraged Smith to stay inside.

"Do I want to do what they said and possibly have another manhunt," Smith said.

Instead, Smith made a tactical decision to put his military skills into action.

He got his gun and held Ware at gunpoint.

"I told him to stay in the can, don't get out," Smith said. "He said 'I'm not here to hurt you, I just want to get out of here.'"

The two exchanged words and at one point, Smith said it began to escalate.

Ware kept begging Smith to not get the police involved.

"I was willing to accept the risk and hold him in place until first responders arrived," Smith said.

Seven minutes after calling 911, Lt. Bailey arrived.

Smith dropped his gun near the can, and Bailey moved the can so Ware, who was still in handcuffs, could not attempt to pick up the gun and shoot.

Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd praised Smith for his courageous act.

"He's definitely a hero, making sure this guy goes back in custody," Boyd said.

However, Smith said it is the deputies and officers who are the real heroes.

"The sheriff and the offices of JPD are the true heroes and I can not give them enough credit," Smith said.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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