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Man jumps into action to help LPD officer during suspect chase

Michael Thomas stepped in to help, saying it was the right thing for him to do (Photo courtesy of Michael Thomas)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- A police foot chase could have become dangerous if it weren't for the help of a Lynchburg man.

Michael Thomas stepped in to help, saying it was the right thing for him to do.

He said he was driving down Old Forest Road Sunday when he noticed a Lynchburg Police vehicle and decided to stop to talk about his neighborhood.

"Just so maybe I could tell them to step up patrols in the area," he said.

So he pulled over into a parking lot and said as soon as he approached the patrol car, he noticed the officer talking to another man.

"I kind of stop and check my phone for a second and I look up and the man ran into traffic," Thomas added, saying the officer then started running after the man. "I decided to step in and I looked to cross the street."

Thomas said the man then ran back across the street.

At this point, Thomas said the officer almost caught the suspect, but then glances over at Thomas who puts his hands up saying, 'I'm here to help.'

Thomas said the suspect put his arms across his chest and refused to give the officer his hands.

"So I grabbed the man's arm by his elbow and was able to force one of his arms behind his back so that first cuff could get put on," Thomas said. "I wanted to help somebody who sticks their neck on the line for us every single day."

He said, even with so many unknown factors, he jumped into action out of his respect for law enforcement.

The officer then thanked Thomas.

The Lynchburg Police Department hasn't commented on the incident.

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