Good Samaritans turn out to be alleged crooks in Nutbush


James Bennett and Justin Peve

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police say they got there just in time to stop two armed men attacking a driver whose truck broke down on the side of the road.

They spotted the crime as it happened on Macon Road around 4 a.m.

During daylight hours, the corner of Macon and Graham doesn’t look threatening with a church and homes nearby.

That’s probably why a 36-year-old man thought it was safe to pull over when his truck broke down.

Police say two men, James Bennett and Justin Peeve, took advantage of the victim.

“I think it’s ridiculous you can’t even trust your own community,” Gregory Clavier said.

Police say they were patrolling the Nutbush area when they caught the two men robbing Juan Tonche.

“Actually they do patrol this area pretty good. I see them all of the time,” Clavier said.

Police say Bennett had a knife screwdriver and wrench in his pocket, and he was threatening to use one of the weapons on the victim.

“Oh my God. It’s praying time. I’m so glad they didn’t kill him,” Regina Dowdy said.

“Somebody could have ended up dead,” Clavier said.

Records show Bennett has a long history of run-ins with the law. Most recently, he was arrested April 2 for evading arrest.

He posted a $250,000 bond.

He’s also a registered sex offender, and police say he did not have an ID on him Monday.

Both men are facing felony charges for this latest incident and are still in jail.

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