Ex-mayor ‘whoops tail’ of accused burglar with paddle

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The former mayor of Jackson is a pastor who gives sermons on Sundays, but before he got to church this week, he taught a suspected burglar a lesson he will never forget.

When the burglar tried to break into pastor Tony Yarber's truck, the former mayor said he subdued the suspect and brought him into his home's garage. He held him to the floor and hit him with his fraternity paddle, shouting: "When you break in people's stuff, it's because somebody ain't whooped your tail!"

The spanking was captured on a video by Yarber's daughter and aired by news organizations.

Yarber told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he caught Juwuan Bibbs, 22, breaking into his truck before dawn Sunday. Bibbs is charged with auto burglary and marijuana possession. It's unclear if he has a lawyer.

Yarber said the family was getting ready to go to church Sunday when his wife noticed two men sitting in a car at the curb near their house. Yarber went outside to check things out and found Bibbs entering his truck.

He kicked the truck door, and Bibbs ran toward the garage. Yarber put him in a headlock, dragged him inside and paddled him as he waited for police. The other man fled.

Yarber, who lost his re-election earlier this year, said he became agitated because Bibbs was pleading for his life, saying he had a young son. Yarber felt his own family had been threatened, so the former kickboxer trained in taekwondo, who stands 6-foot-1 (1.85 meters), called for the paddle.

"If he was going to go to jail for a day and get out, I wanted him to remember why he went," Yarber said.

The former elementary school principal said his wife called police a second time, saying they should hurry because Yarber might injure Bibbs.

Several years ago, the former mayor fought off two men who tried to break into his house. When police arrived this time, Yarber said the first officer told Bibbs, "Wrong house, homeboy."

Police recovered a handgun they believe belonged to Bibbs. Yarber said he believes Bibbs lost the gun when he kicked the truck door.

Yarber's daughter, Carmen Neal Yarber, caught the tail end of the confrontation on video. Asked whether she had ever been spanked by her dad, she said: "I received whoopins, but not with that paddle."