Pasco grandmother tackles man fleeing police

Tyler Richardson, Tri-City HeraldAugust 22, 2014 

RICHLAND -- A Pasco grandmother can apparently hit like a middle linebacker.

Joseph Lewis Fry certainly found that out this week when he ran from a Richland police officer.

Fry, 20, got into an argument with another man Wednesday afternoon as they were panhandling near Highway 240 and Columbia Center Boulevard, said Capt. Mike Cobb, police spokesman. Officers arrived and started talking to both men.

As an officer was talking to Fry, the transient took off and started running toward Fowler Street, Cobb said.

Becky Powell, 40, was driving to a music store with her husband and teenage son when she saw Fry flee, she said. She watched as Fry put a good distance between himself and the officer.

Instead of stopping and waiting to see what happened, Powell told her husband to speed up and get in front of Fry.

"I told my husband (the cop) is never going to catch him," said Powell, a bartender at Jokers in Richland.

Powell's husband sped up in front of Fry and as the car was still moving, his wife jumped out.

Hilarity then ensued.

"I got into a football stance and said, 'You're going to stay here,' " Powell said. "He stiff-armed me and I just wrapped him up and threw him on the ground."

Powell said when she tackled Fry she grabbed onto his shorts and underwear, exposing his back side as they fell.

Another man helped her pin Fry down as police were able to catch up and put him in handcuffs, Powell said.

Powell said she then playfully taunted Fry good measure.

"I whispered in his ear, 'How does it feel to be taken down by a mother of five and a grandmother of three?,' " she said.

Fry didn't look amused, she said.

Police thanked Powell for her service and one officer gave her a high five, she said. Her teenage son was even able to get part of the incident on video.

Fry told police he ran because he had an outstanding warrant, Cobb said. He was booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of obstructing a police officer.

Cobb said Powell's help is not going unnoticed within the department, but he encouraged other citizens to refrain from helping officers catch criminals.

"We appreciate the assistance, but we don't want to have people get involved because they can get hurt," he said.

Powell told the Herald her family eventually made it to the music store to pick up guitar strings.

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