Two Tampa police officers who were struggling to handcuff a suspect were able to complete the task thanks to the help of a passerby who witnessed the struggle and intervened.
The incident happened outside of a Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority bus stop and when HART transit supervisor Tim Martin realized the two officers needed help, he stepped in, all of which was captured on camera.
“The first thing that really turned things in our favor was when he came in and put a bear hug on the guy and we really applaud him for doing that,” said Steve Hegarty with Tampa PD.
The suspect, who is well-known to authorities, reportedly grabbed the gun of one of the officers at least four times during the struggle.
“You could see through the window his hand on the gun,” said Carl Baer, a cab driver who witnessed the incident. “The clip ended up coming out of the gun laying on the ground, so he had his hand on it enough to release the clip.”
The officers, with the help of Martin, eventually subdued the suspect and placed him in handcuffs.
Martin, however, was reprimanded by HART for his actions, despite the fact that others – including the Tampa Police Department – praised his efforts.
“There was a stretch of time we did not hear from our transit supervisor so I mean we don’t know if his life could’ve been in danger something could’ve happened, so we needed to know what had happened around that stretch of time,” said HART official Sandra Morrison.
But Morrison later confirmed the investigation against Martin was dropped and he would not receive any sort of disciplinary action. Instead, they’re going to talk with him about keeping up his communication and use the incident for future training purposes.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Police Department plans to present Martin with an award.
[ ABC Action News ]