MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A burglar ran head-on into a city dump truck after fleeing with several guns and some cash from an East Memphis home.
Rita Hailey, a professional painter, was working Monday morning at a job on Crossover Lane when the next-door homeowner came running for help.
“He was saying, ‘someone just broke into my house, I hear glass breaking,'” Hailey said. “He was very upset and I was hoping he was wrong.”
The homeowner, who did not want to be identified, told police he was alerted by his Ring camera and saw a suspect, later identified as Quadaron Williford, with a backpack smashing through the backdoor.
Meanwhile, Hailey and a co-worker armed themselves with makeshift weapons like a piece of wood trim and a pair of painter roller poles.
“They’re pretty heavy and you could hurt somebody. You could hit somebody with that and it would probably hurt a little,” Hailey said.
The painters and the homeowner went to investigate.
“And the door was opened and we went in and he was calling ‘Who’s here, where are you?’ We got to the kitchen and saw a lot of stuff thrown in the floor,” Hailey said.
Hailey said the suspect was already gone. According to police, Williford made off with two pistols, an AR-15 style rifle, and $500 in cash.
He escaped through a drainage canal and got into a blue Chrysler van at least a mile from the crime scene.
Plainclothes officers in the area already had a good description of Williford from the victim’s Ring camera and they started pursuing the van until it crashed head-on into a City of Memphis dump truck at Getwell and Kimball.
Williford tried to escape on foot but injured his ankle in the crash and was taken into custody.
Rita Hailey said this wasn’t her time in a dangerous situation and has no doubt she would have used the painter tools Monday if confronted by Williford.
“I was robbed over on Perkins about four years ago, got my fingers broke,” she said. “I feel like I would have swung if somebody came in front of me.”
The stolen items were returned to the victim.
Williford, a convicted felon, is charged with aggravated burglary and theft and is being held on a $250,000 bond.