Men buying lottery tickets spot suspects running away, track them down for police

Two men are facing felony charges after police say they posed as construction workers in an attempt to cash fake paychecks in Germantown, then ran away when police were called.

The men, Tanner Crabtree and Jason Barnes, were stopped from running away by friends Billy Holtgrave and Brad Marshall, who were buying lottery tickets at a bar across the street when they saw Crabtree and Barnes take off, a KMOV 4 report stated.

“Didn’t really think about it, just instinct,” Holtgrave told the TV station. “Saw him running and wanted to stop him.”

Crabtree and Barnes were both charged with felony forgery and resisting a police officer.

Holtgrave and Marshall followed one suspect in their SUV until they spotted him running through backyards.

“I met up with him and ended up tackling him to the ground, put him in a head lock and (Marshall) helped me hold him down until officers got there and arrested him,” Holtgrave said.

The other suspect was taken into custody by police.

Germantown Police Chief Jeff Wuebbles told KMOV 4 he wouldn’t have been able to make the arrest without Holtgrave and Marshall’s help.

“It’s their town, they like to protect it,” he said.

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.