MISSION VIEJO, CA — Two men discovered an attempted murder suspect during a recent massive police search in Mission Viejo. Now, both are being lauded as heroes, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Quyen Vuong.
On Oct. 18, a domestic disturbance turned violent when a man stabbed his sister and fled on foot.
“If the knife would have entered the 17-year-old victim’s abdomen less than an inch away from where it did, she would have died,” Vuong told Behind The Badge OC in a recent report. The man who fled was nearly naked, dressed in boxer shorts as he ran from the house. Officers searched for that attempted murder suspect helicopters circled and K9 officers actively searched neighborhoods in Mission Viejo.
A few blocks away, Justin Helstien was inside his home making dinner with his wife. The children, who were playing near their new construction pool, had just come in from outside during the police commotion.
Then, he saw the suspect hiding in his yard, albeit now the suspect was completely nude. Helstien un-pocketed his utility knife and told the man to stay where he was. His neighbor, who has a concealed carry permit, came to help.
Helstien called his neighbor, Matt Blain, a former Army Staff Sergeant, asking: “Do you have your gun? I need you in my backyard now.”
Blain, a U. S. Army veteran and purple heart recipient, was there within 30-seconds, aiming his firearm at the naked man behind the wheelbarrow, according to Behind The Badge OC.
Then, they called 9-1-1.
“You guys are looking for someone in the area of Mission Viejo? I have him in my backyard,” Heilstien said. “He’s nude, six-footish and bald.”
While waiting for the police to arrive, the suspect pleaded with the men not to shoot. He also asked if he could get dressed and have a smoke, but that answer was categorically “no.”
That suspect is currently being held on $500,000 bail on suspicion of attempted murder, and both men were praised by Mission Viejo Police Service Lt. Quyen Vuong.
“If all Mission Viejo citizens could be as vigilant as these guys, we would always be the safest city,” Vuong said.
photo, courtesy OCSD / Jaimee Blashaw
Both Helstien and Blain don’t feel particularly heroic. They merely did the right thing at the right time, Helstien told Behind the Bage OC, saying:
Behind The Badge Photos, courtesy OCSD, Jaimee Blashaw