Former mayor 'paddles' man he claims was breaking into his truck

A former mayor in Mississippi literally took justice into his own hands – he paddled a man he said was breaking into his truck.

Tony Yarber, the former mayor of Jackson, Miss., earlier this week subdued a 22-year-old robbery suspect after his wife saw a suspicious vehicle outside their home early Sunday morning before heading to church. Yarber went outside to investigate and that’s when he confronted a man who was allegedly breaking into his truck. 

“When I kicked the door, the guy fell. And when he fell we struggled for a minute and I was able to subdue him,” Yarber told Fox News. “I brought him under the garage because I was cognizant that there was possibly another person out here because my wife said that there were two people so I just wanted to cover myself.”

The former mayor, who has trained in martial arts for 30 years, held the man down and paddled him. Police have identified the man behind the alleged crime as Juwuan Bibbs. 

“I figured if he was going to get out in a day I would put the paddle on him,” Yarber said. 

Yarber’s daughter captured part of the incident on video. Yarber says he thought about his own son when he saw how young the alleged burglar appeared. He also noted that he’s had experience dealing with a break-in at his home before. 

According to Yarber’s account of the incident, Bibbs pleaded for his life and talked about how he had a young child. Police say a gun that is believed to belong to Bibbs was recovered from the scene.

Yarber said he realized things could have quickly gone awry. 

“It didn’t dawn on me how it could have gone until the police officer said be grateful they didn’t do anything to your wife when [she] came to your car alone,” Yarber noted. “Or that that gun, that he didn’t get an opportunity to use that gun on you.”

Police say Bibbs was charged with auto burglary and possession of marijuana. 

He was being held on $20,000 bond at a detention center in Hinds County, Miss. but has since posted bail. It is unclear if he’s retained an attorney but Yarber, who’s also a pastor and former elementary school principal, said Bibbs showed up at his church on Wednesday to apologize. In his apology, Yarber says Bibbs told him he wasn’t himself during the incident and was under the influence of drugs. 

“What I told him, is that I wanted him to walk through this process. But that I was going to walk through it with him and for me that’s important,” Yarber said. “While there’s grace and mercy, there’s also responsibility for actions. He’s going to go through the process, I’m going to go through it with him. I’m not there to condemn. If a judge asked me [should] we put him in jail? I would likely say no.”

Willie James Inman is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Jackson, Mississippi. Follow him on twitter: @WillieJames