The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Lead Stories

January 10, 2007

Telltale tattoo IDs 'Honkie' after pursuit

By Jeff Lehr

jlehr@joplinglobe.com

Sgt. David Trimble of the Newton County Sheriff’s Department wasn’t born yesterday.

Trimble thought he recognized the man he spotted hiding under some leaves behind a downed tree 30 feet from a wrecked 1980 Dodge car that he and state troopers had pursued Wednesday morning.

He was relatively sure the man was Walter L. Schulz, 26, the reputed “Honkies” gang member who reportedly yanked a chest tube and left a Joplin hospital Jan. 2 in apparent effort to avoid arrest.

After all, the guy had a cast on his leg consistent with a description of injuries Schulz suffered in an accident with a stolen vehicle Dec. 28 south of Joplin. Still, the suspect who Trimble collared in some woods in the Whispering Hills subdivision after the pursuit Wednesday morning insisted he wasn’t Schulz.

But, the clincher came when officers lifted the suspect’s shirt. They discovered a tattoo across his stomach that read “Schulz” and a hole in his upper torso where a chest tube had been, Trimble told the Globe.

A wild, and most likely painful, couple of weeks on the lam finally had come to an end for Schulz, who managed to bail out of custody in Cherokee County, Kan., in mid-December despite having an unfinished federal prison sentence. Schulz reportedly was being treated for an injured arm, ankle and broken leg from the accident two weeks ago.

He and James E. Colley, 24, of Joplin, initially were taken Wednesday morning to St. John’s Regional Medical Center for treatment of injuries they suffered in Wednesday’s chase.

Colley was the driver and Schulz a passenger in the car a state trooper tried to stop for expired plates at 10:23 a.m. in the Greenwood area southwest of Joplin, according to Sgt. Kent Casey of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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