HOUSTON – A group of air conditioning workers are being credited for teaching two auto theft suspects a harsh lesson in the law.
It happened Sunday afternoon after police said the pair crashed a stolen car into a parked truck at the Chick-fil-A located at 2715 Southwest Freeway.
That truck belonged to one of the repairmen doing work inside the fast food restaurant that is closed currently for business.
KHOU 11 News reporter Drew Karedes and photojournalist Ralph Nickerson happened to be driving by the Chick-fil-A right after the impact.
The crashed car burst into flames and a thick plume of black smoke could be seen for miles.
“I turned my back for a split second, and then boom, I hear the collision,” recalled Anthony Brooks with Bates Air Conditioning. “I see the two guys in the car passed out. I said, hey, get out of the car!”
Anthony Brooks and his ten fellow workers helped to get the driver and passenger out before flames swallowed up the Chevy sedan.
Instead of thanking the guys for risking their lives, the driver and passenger began sprinting away from the fiery scene.
“They knew they were in trouble and started running away from us,” explained Brooks.
The workers didn’t know what the pair was running from. However, they refused to let them escape.
Several repairmen chased the duo for about a mile and tackled them.
They said they proceeded to “rough up” the young men to prevent them from escaping.
“They jumped the fence. I went right after them. I went running and said, you’re not going anywhere!,” said Oscar Oregel.
The workers turned crime crusaders forced the suspects into a car and then drove them back to the Chick-fil-A.
Houston Police were there waiting to take the two into custody.
Police didn’t have concrete information as to where the vehicle had been stolen from.
Both suspects, who appeared to be in their late teens or early 20’s, were handcuffed and taken away to jail.
Authorities believe the two may have been under the influence of something.
“It was teamwork. We all feel like we didn’t want them getting away. They committed a crime, and they need to pay for the consequences,” added Brooks.
The group who saved the suspects and then detained them said they felt compelled to stand up for what they felt was right.
KHOU 11 News is working to confirm the suspects identities and any charges.