"Handsome Guy" Bandit's Arrest in Rural Mississippi As Hollywood as His Mask
By now you're probably aware that the so-called "Handsome Guy" Bandit wanted in connection with close to a dozen bank robberies in and around Dallas is actually one Steven Milam, according to authorities -- a Tyler casket salesman, no less. And at this very moment, he's in Jackson County, Mississippi, where he was taken into custody by the sheriff himself, Mike Byrd.
Just got off the phone with the sheriff, who provided an action-packed recitation of how the arrest went down. Says Byrd, it began out on Interstate 10 a little before 10 this morning, where the sheriff's department had K9 officers running a drug-interdiction operation. Deputies espied Milam's Texas plates and ran the tags. Says Byrd, the feds' National Crime Information Center came back with a hit: Milam, it said, was wanted for homicide -- "the willful killing of a police officer in Richardson, Texas." (He actually shot at officers during a botched New Year's Eve robbery, which is how authorities finally figured out the identity of the man beneath the mask.)
Says Byrd, officers hit their lights and drove after Milam: "We made three attempts to spike-strip the vehicle." But that didn't work. Officers shut down I-10, in front of and behind the chase. The sheriff didn't want anyone getting hurt. That's when Byrd got involved. "I pulled up at 85 miles and shot out the right rear tire." He used his pistol: a .40-caliber Sig Sauer.
"He pulled over, but he would not get out of the vehicle," Byrd says. "We had to physically remove him." He was taken into custody. "Then he puked in the back of the car." Milam was taken to the hospital to see if he'd tried to overdose. Now he's in county jail, behind held on local charges ("felon fleeing"). Milam, says the sheriff, will be sent back to North Texas when "I get the federal warrant."
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