Man Helps Capture Robber During Police Manhunt in Tempe, Arizona

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Mark Carpenter Mark Carpenter

At the beginning of October, business professional Mark Carpenter aided police in catching a robber on the run when the suspect showed up in his backyard during a police manhunt in Tempe, Arizona.

 It’s not every day that a civilian is able to help police catch a robber on the run, but that’s exactly what Mark Carpenter did on Monday, October 7th. He and his fiancée were returning from a movie in Tempe, Arizona early in October when they discovered police in their neighborhood along with search dogs and a search helicopter.

The suspect, who had fled the police for some time, found a place to hide in Carpenter’s backyard where he attempted to lay low until the police activity died down. However, when discovered by Carpenter, Mark Carpenter and the robber began to struggle and Carpenter was able to wrestle the suspect to the ground and hold him there until the police showed up and took over.

“We just came back to our house and our entire cul-de-sac is full of cops. There’s a manhunt in our park next to our house,” said Mark Carpenter, talking on a phone video he recorded as he pulled into his neighborhood. Officers were searching for the man suspected of robbery and kidnapping who was believed to also be carrying a weapon. The robber had used the knife to hold a customer at knifepoint and then stole cash from a nearby convenience store before he fled into Mark Carpenter‘s neighborhood.

When Carpenter and his fiancée got home from a movie date, they said something just didn’t feel right. The couple walked around the house and checked their home’s security features, knowing that police were just outside searching for an armed robber on the run.

“I grabbed a knife, I don’t have a gun, and went into the backyard to check it out and make sure we were safe,” says Mark Carpenter. Walking around his property, Carpenter came face-to-face with a man hiding next to his backyard gate.

“I just grabbed his shirt and started yelling at him and he yelled back profanities at me,” says Carpenter. “Luckily, he’s a little smaller than me, so when he reached for the knife in his backpack, which was on the ground, I dropped my knife and took him down.”

Carpenter grew up wrestling and played football in high school and was prepared for the struggle. He held down the man while his fiancée, Arloa Knowles, searched for a police officer to help. “I just ran out the front door, kept running and yelling and he came over and I was like, ‘he’s over there!’ said Carpenter’s fiancée.

Soon, the Tempe Police in the neighborhood had the suspect in custody and identified the man as 28-year-old Emilio Bustamante as they placed him under arrest. Mark Carpenter did slightly injure the suspect with a few strikes to the face and head of which police photos show the suspect’s blood on Carpenter’s hand and face but luckily, Carpenter and Knowles did not sustain any injuries in the process.