Columbus police officers are hailing a Columbus man as a hero after he tripped up an armed suspect.
According to NBC 4 reporting, the man, who goes by the name of “Bill,” was outside of the Columbus library when he noticed a man running toward him with his right hand in his waistband. Not far behind the suspect was a police van and a police officer on foot.
On security camera footage “Bill” is seen taking a few quick glances in the suspect’s direction, as he prepares to make his move in an attempt to slow the man down.
Instead of using the cane in his left hand, “Bill” stretches his right leg out just as the suspect is about to pass him. The move pays off, as the suspect’s foot meets “Bill’s” leg with perfect timing, sending the man sprawling across the sidewalk and giving him a little taste of concrete. More importantly, “Bill’s” slick move caused the suspect to drop his Glock 9mm, giving officers enough time to close in and slap the handcuffs on him with no harm coming to them or the suspect.
From NBC 4:
Police say the move likely saved the suspect’s life and allowed police to catch up and make an arrest.
Officers recovered a Glock 9mm pistol with a magazine containing 29 rounds. The gun fell to the ground as the suspect tripped.
Police say the suspect was arrested and taken to the Franklin County Jail.
“Community involvement, be it by courage, bravery and/or fancy footwork, helped take a criminal off the streets of Columbus,” said Columbus police.
Describing the situation, one officer says, “I think it all worked out pretty good. But, I mean, a millisecond different and there are shots fired.”
During what appears to be a debriefing on the event, another officer explains why responding officers didn’t immediately shoot the suspect. He states, “Their threat was not to the point where they thought this guy is maybe trying to shoot me, he’s trying to get rid of that gun.”
Though officers did not fire any shots, they came close to letting the bullets fly. As law enforcement closes in, body camera footage picks up an officer telling the suspect just how lucky he is that he’s not leaving the scene in a body bag. “You’re lucky you dropped that (expletive) gun, man,” he yells. “Boy, you almost got shot… I almost (expletive) squeezed the trigger, man.” To which another officer replies, “I did too.”
As for the hero’s thoughts, “Bill” explains he felt it was his responsibility to act.
“I just felt, as a citizen of this town I had a responsibility to act and to help… I think people are supposed to help.”
Watch the body cam and security camera footage below.