Member of the Peacemakers helps police apprehend suspect

Joshua Blake helped tackle a man who led police on a car chase


ROANOKE, Va. – Vinton police say they apprehended a man Saturday night with the help of the Peacemakers.

It happened on Campbell Ave. Police say 33-year-old Vincent Lee Hairston crashed his car into an embankment after a police chase, and it caught fire at the scene. Hairston drove away from police during a traffic stop on Walnut St. In Vinton. When the officer tried to apprehend him, police say he resisted and reached for the officer's gun. That's when a passerby, Joshua Blake, says he stepped in to help subdue the man.

"When I seen that officer in distress, and I knew he was from a different jurisdiction, I said I've got to help this guy," said Blake.

Blake is a member of the Peacemakers organization in Roanoke and says he is a former police officer. He says the officers thanked him for his help.

"The initial officer, he was the one that shook my hand and gave me a hug first, and it just, it just let him know that it's good people out here," said Blake.

Hairston faces several charges, including resisting arrest, attempting to elude arrest, attempting to disarm an officer, and operating a motor vehicle without consent of the owner. Police says those charges are on top of other outstanding warrants for the following charges: probation violation for abduction, robbery and wearing a mask, two counts of assault, felony grand larceny, felony petit larceny, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, breaking and entering and a capias.

Hairston is being held at the Roanoke City Jail without bond.