Strangers Record Arrest on Their Phones—Then Stop to Help the Officer Catch the Criminal dallasJon Hoffman was sitting at a red light when he saw a man run out of a 7-Eleven carrying a plastic donation jar full of cash. The Plano, Texas, detective, dressed in plain clothes but wearing his badge and gun, caught the man and pinned him to the hood of his car. But Hoffman had trouble containing the thief, and they got into a struggle.

“The detective has a martial arts background, and he said he thought the suspect must have a martial arts background, too, because he was able to break away so easily,” a Plano police spokesperson said.

The detective called out for help as a crowd gathered. Among those watching: Andre Harvey and Kirby Sample, two day laborers. Harvey did what has become common these days—he whipped out his phone and hit record. “I hate to say it, but my impulse was that this cop’s gonna do something stupid,” Harvey said. “But when he asked for help, I thought, Well, there’s not gonna be a shooting if I get over there in time.” Harvey jumped into action—while he was still recording the video—as did Sample.

“Harvey grabbed the suspect’s arms, while Kirby grabbed his legs, and they were able to get the suspect to the ground to help Detective Hoffman put the handcuffs on,” said the police spokesperson. The 27-year-old suspect was charged with resisting arrest and other offenses. The charity jar he stole held less than $50.

“I’ve been on the wrong side of the law several times in my life,” Harvey told WFAA. “It feels good to be on the right side and do something positive.”

After the arrest, the three men got to know each other over steaks and ribs at a local steak house—­Hoffman’s treat, as a thank-you. But the rescuers say Hoffman deserves credit too. “It could’ve turned real ugly,” Sample told “He handled himself like a real professional.”

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