BLOOMINGDALE, Mich. (WOOD) - A Van Buren County man played a key role in leading authorities to the area where an escaped parolee was hiding seven hours before being arrested.
Robert Quakenbush saw a story on the Thursday noon news that parole absconder Michael Warner had dumped his car not far away after a police chase Wednesday. Warner, on parole for larceny and home invasion, had cut his electronic tether and was believed to be hunkered down near Bloomingdale.
That's when he saw the off-road vehicle belonging to his daughter and son-law, from whom he lives across the street, driving away.
"I told my wife something ain't right, so I took off and he turned around and come back and went down this road," Quakenbush showed 24 Hour News 8.
He immediately jumped into his truck and gave chase in the area of 41st Street near 14th Avenue, just south of Bloomingdale.
"I went flying down through here and cut him off, tried to get him off of the Ranger," he said.
He jumped out of his truck and ran toward to the suspect, immediately recognizing him from TV.
"He stopped after I pulled him over and he asked if I needed something and I said, 'Yeah, I need you to get off that. That's not yours,'" Quakenbush recounted.
The suspect took off again in the ORV, off the road and into the field, where he dumped the ORV. Police later found it, along with a stolen rifle and muzzleloader.
That launched the nearly seven-hour search utilizing 30 officers and a half-dozen tracking dogs.
Quakenbush said he wasn't scared when he was actually chasing Warner.
"But I was scared when I got home," he said. "My wife started yelling."
Warner was eventually arrested around 6:45 p.m. Thursday in the outbuilding of a Bloomingdale-area residence only about half a mile from 41st Street and 14th Avenue.
After that, Quakenbush said he could keep his focus on what's really important: Watching the Detroit Tigers' last American League Division Series game versus the Oakland A's.
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