Car Wash Worker Helps Catch Alleged Thief

Knoxville (WVLT) - A scary scene on Friday outside a local Food City had one woman in tears and angry citizens taking action. In a story you'll only see on WVLT. A woman walks out of the grocery story only to be maced, then robbed of her prescriptions.

The Schackleford family sits shaken, shocked. Victims of a crime.

"I think it's just absolutely despicable," Kari Shackelford, the victim's daughter, said.

Just after two Friday afternoon, Kari Shackelford's 52-year-old mother picked up her prescription medicine from the Food City Bearden, then an alleged thief picked them off her.

"In my mind, there's no way he's getting away," Shackelford said.

Police say he's 34-year-old John Nicely, and Shackelford helped put him in cuffs.

"Gosh, in a moment like that you really freeze, and your body goes into fight or flight," Shackelford said.

The only choice was made in a split second.

"I just jumped out of the car, barefoot and all and chased him," Shackelford said. l

Police say Schackelford walked out of the Food City. That's when the suspect grabbed her, maced her, and took off with her prescriptions. Police say he ran about two blocks and that's when some heroes took him down. Three bystanders gave chase, including a simonize car wash worker with a bad ankle.

"Just kind of put my car between him and the telephone poll and just left him there," said John Souki, who caught the suspect.

"There aren't too many people in the world left like that," Shackelford said.

But working just across the street, John has seen this scenario this before.

"Alot of times we'll here the alarm goes off, the back door and people running, purse snatchings and stuff," Souki said.

"Obviously, we're very thankful for the citizens who got involved and were willing to get involved to capture the suspect. They've just got to be cautious," KPD spokesman Darrell DeBusk said.

Alot of help, at the perfect time.

"I don't think I've moved that quickly since I was a high school cheerleader," Shackelford said.

The suspect, 34-year-old John Nicely is charged with aggravated robbery.


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  • by Bigbubba Location: Knoxville on Sep 7, 2007 at 10:51 PM
    We support Food City because of their community support ie. Johnia Berry Posters on all their trucks and VT fundraiser etc. but they really need drive though for the Rx. This is really scary because I know FC & Steve Smith? really care about the communities they locate.

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