Memphis criminal added to TBI’s ‘Ten Most Wanted’

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Tenn. Bureau of Investigation added a man wanted for various crimes in the Memphis area to its ten most wanted list Wednesday.

David Hom, manager of Hong Kong Restaurant in Whitehaven, said there was a day last summer when he thought the worst for himself, his staff and his customers at the hands of the wanted man.

“I was at the register taking orders. Next thing I know from the side, the guy comes out, has one of the workers hostage,” he said of Eric Balkin.

He said Balkin stabbed one of his employees. All the customers ran out and then Balkin grabbed money and ran out too.

“I was mad that it was going on. But I was sorta just happy nobody was a big thing, nobody got hurt, just the one person," Hom said.

It’s now been a year since it happened. In that time, Hom said he thought police caught up with the suspect.

But the TBI said Balkin is now one of their top ten most wanted suspects for this incident as well as others.

They said he’s wanted for nearly 30 charges by three different agencies, including Memphis Police, Shelby County Sheriff’s and the U.S. Marshals. The charges include four counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, 13 counts of aggravated robbery, nine counts of aggravated assault and one count of intentionally evading arrest in an automobile.

“More people will be aware of who it is. If they have a picture people will be on the lookout," one customer said.

“It’s good to put him on the list so people know he’s around," Hom said.

He said his employee fully recovered from the stabbing but an arrest would now ease their minds.

“I just hope somebody gets a hold of him and puts a stop to what he was doing,” he said.

If you have any information about where this suspect is you should contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. There’s a $2,500 award for anything that leads to an arrest.