A group of farmers in Clarke County helped catch a man accused of carjacking a Loudoun County deputy at gunpoint.
"I had made a joke. I was like, maybe I ought to bring that gun just in case he's in our backyard," said Brian Morgan. He was glad he did because the "armed and dangerous" suspect the Clarke County sheriff alerted them to emerged from the woods at the edge of the Warfield's farm.
Wayne Warfield, his brother Shannon, and Morgan were on the lookout the morning of July 12th. The cows first saw the suspect.
"The cows know something down there that they don't like. The cows dart into the woods with all their little calves. It was quite the ruckus," described Warfield. That was at about 8 a.m.
Four hours earlier, a 911 call came in from a Loudoun County deputy who said he'd been carjacked. The deputy told Clarke County Chief Deputy Travis Sumption that he had given the suspect a ride to the J & J Corner Store and Citgo station along Route 7 near Berryville.
After the deputy drove away, he noticed he was missing two cell phones. He turned around and went back to the store and confronting the suspect, Zaxarea Alzanam, who somehow took the deputy's pistol and then stole his personal vehicle. Alzanam crashed the SUV twice and then took off running through the woods.
The farmers were on alert and after the cows took notice, they saw Alzanam.
"A guy with red shorts and no shirt running straight at this shop," said Warfield, who along with his brother and Morgan, had grabbed their guns just in case. Morgan was in a truck headed toward the fields.
"I come around a turn and he's like right in front of me. Stopped the truck, got out and pointed the gun at him. Told him to get on the ground," said Morgan.
"He got up on his knees, his arms in the air, and he says, 'I need help, I need help.' And we're like, 'We already know who you are. Get down on the ground, the cops are on the way!' He takes off running across the field and he did run with his arms up. He was not armed," said Warfield.
"It turned out he had ditched his gun in one of the vehicles back at the quarry," said Morgan. He said it's the first time he's ever pointed a gun at a person. "Absolutely. And hoping and praying that I wasn't going to have to fire it at him."
Chief Deputy Sumption credited the farmers and cows for slowing the suspect down.
"Nobody got hurt. That's the great outcome of it. Hats off to the law enforcement people 'cause they have to deal with that everyday. I hope I never have to deal with it again," said Warfield.
Alzanam, of Schenectady, N.Y., is a convicted felon. He's charged with five felonies: carjacking, auto theft, firearm theft, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and eluding. He is being held without bond at the Northwest Virginia Regional Adult Detention Center.