Mississippi News

MDOT worker honored for helping capture robbery suspect

Credit: Mississippi Department of Transportation 

On Tuesday, Feb. 14, Mississippi Transportation Commissioners recognized Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) employee Jamie Hearn for his bravery in assisting with the capture of an armed robbery suspect. Hearn, who works in the maintenance division in Carroll County, has been with MDOT since May 2022.

Hearn was driving an MDOT truck on State Route 17 near Blackhawk on the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 19, when he heard screaming and noticed two men in an intense struggle in a field. When he went to investigate, he realized one of the men was an off-duty game warden. The other man was an armed suspect from a robbery at the Dollar General in Blackhawk that morning. The suspect was later identified as Corleone Pate Jr.

Hearn was able to handcuff Pate with direction from the game warden. As he placed the second hand in cuffs, Hearn says Pate bit him on the arm. The men were able to overpower Pate and detain him until more officers arrived.

“He had him (game warden) in a chokehold pretty much. He had him to the point where he couldn’t move, all he could do was wrap his arm around him. So that’s where I got to the point to put the handcuffs on him,” said Hearn. “By that time, we had the other State Troopers to arrive and help us out in the pasture.”

“That officer is a very well-trained officer, he teaches a lot of the tactical training,” said Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker. “Without Jamie showing up it would have been a life-or-death situation.”

Hearn was treated for the bite injury and was able to return to work. He also received an “outstanding citizen” resolution from the Carroll County Board of Supervisors for assisting in the capture of Corleone Pate Jr.

Three people were arrested and charged in connection with the Blackhawk Dollar General robbery. Corleone Pate Jr. and Johnathan Alexander are charged with armed robbery. Pate’s father, who was the getaway driver, Corleone Pate Sr. was charged with accessory after the fact.

From left, Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker; District 2 Engineer James Mitch Turner; Carroll County Maintenance Superintendent John Johnson; Northern Transportation Commissioner John Caldwell; Maintenance worker Jamie Hearn; Southern Transportation Commissioner, Chairman Tom King; Central Transportation Commissioner Willie Simmons; District 2 Maintenance Engineer Brian Childs. (MDOT photo)

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