FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Good Samaritan helped police capture a man suspected of robbing a Family Dollar store in Fort Wayne on Wednesday night.
Harold Jackson is accused of walking into the Family Dollar at 2011 Broadway. According to police reports, Jackson flashed a gun at a cashier then ran off with an undisclosed amount cash and four packs of cigarettes.
A Fort Wayne Police officer was traveling west on Taylor Street approaching Broadway around 6:30 p.m. The officer saw a man running around the corner of Family Dollar. The man was wearing all black, with a black mask, and had a gray plastic bag in hand. The officer tried to follow him but lost sight of the suspect.
Eric Spicer was getting ready to take his dog on a walk when he noticed a man hiding in the bushes. He flagged down the officer to let him know. As he walked back toward his home, he saw the same man crossing Lindley Avenue onto Parkview Avenue, but wearing different clothes.
“I knew it was him,” said Spicer. “He was probably 10 feet away when I told him, ‘Hey, the police are right there. You should just give up.’”
Spicer continued to try negotiating with him, but the man was not ready to give up. He told Spicer he wanted to hide.
“I told him I wouldn’t hide him, and I asked him just to sit down right on this stoop,” he said. “I told him to just wait for police and that they had a K-9, and that he was going to get hurt if didn’t.”
When the man sat down, Spicer noticed he had a gun. He tried to get the suspect to toss it.
“I said, ‘You’re going to get in a lot of trouble with that handgun. You should just go throw that up on that porch,’” said Spicer.
Spicer said the man put it down for a moment but picked it back up. He walked onto Spicer’s porch and tried to open the front door. It was locked. That’s when Spicer found an opportunity.
“As he was coming off my steps, he put the handgun into the bag full of money,” he said. “That’s when I pulled my gun out and ordered him to lie down and wait for the police. For a moment he tried to plead with me, and I just told him to shut up.”
Spicer was standing behind the suspect as he was on the ground. He yelled for help and held him at gunpoint until police arrived. Harold Jackson was taken into police custody, according to the police report.
Police later determined the gun, believed to be carried by Jackson, was a BB gun. Police searched the bushes along Lindley Avenue and located numerous articles of all black clothing.
“It just goes to show you,” he said. “You never know what they’re going to do, and criminals aren’t always smart.”
According to a police report, the entire incident was recorded on police dash-cam video; however, police declined to release it.