16-year-old helps Missouri officer in scuffle during arrest

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JONESBURG, Mo. (KTVI) – It was a role reversal in Jonesburg, Missouri, when a 16-year-old boy came to the aid of a police officer struggling to make an arrest. The officer is calling the teen a hero.

During an incident Tuesday at a local convenience store, Gunner Sexton and two others dropped what they were doing to keep an officer from getting hurt or worse.

Officer Len Sylcox was responding to a 911 call when he found a man, apparently on heroin, who was about to drive away in a car.

“As I entered, this person didn’t look like he was doing so well, had a hypodermic needle in his pocket,” Sylcox said. “As we approached him at his car, he said, ‘I’m not going to jail today’ and takes off running.”

The officer chased the man and tackled him in a muddy field nearby.

“I grabbed him by the shirt and yanked him down, and as I yanked him downwards, my feet slipped out from under me, and I actually pulled him on top of me,” Sylcox said.

Sexton and two adult mens came to the officer’s rescue.

“We all helped as a combined effort to end up getting the guy off of him,” Sexton said.

Sexton, who plays high school football and baseball and runs track, stands 6’5” tall and weighs 235 pounds. He said his talents and size made his impromptu police work a little less challenging.

“I didn’t really do too much,” he said. “I thought it was necessary to help because he was in need.”

Sylcox said Jonesburg is made up of people like Gunner who support police.

“They’re heroic. It’s awesome. It’s heroic for people to come out and help the police,” Sylcox said.

Sexton says he lives by a principle he learned at school: “Do the right thing when no one’s looking. That’s what my football coach always preaches.”

The suspect could face a number of charges.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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