‘I had a decision to make': Man tackles fleeing suspect

INDIANAPOLIS — When Dean Hunsucker tackled the man he saw running from police, he wasn't thinking about whether the man had a weapon.

"I had a decision to make: I could assist the officer or not," he said.

Hunsucker was walking down the alley behind Good News Ministries on the city's east side last week when he saw the man and an officer trailing him about 80 to 100 yards behind, he said.

He could either step in and help, risking his safety, or step away and let the man pass, potentially letting him get away.

"In that situation, I would hope everybody would assist the officer," he said.

Hunsucker sat down with police and reporters Friday to discuss his actions, which some are now calling heroic.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officers responded to a trespassing call in the 200 block of North Gray Avenue on Nov. 2 when several juveniles ran from the residence in question, according to police.

Two were stopped by officers, Sgt. Kendale Adams said, but the other continued to run, eventually making his way down an alley.

That's when Hunsucker heard the commotion.

"A police officer was yelling: ‘Police, stop, police stop, police stop, stop, stop,'" he said.

He had a split-second decision to make, he said. So he blocked him, tussling with him before hitting the ground. Hunsucker said his head hit the pavement first.

"When we hit the ground, I was seeing stars," he said.

He injured his head and knuckles when the pair fell and scratched his brand-new Garmin watch, he said.

He later posted about the watch on Facebook, he said, because he thought some of his friends might find it funny that he was more concerned about his watch than his physical injuries.

But the next morning, that post had made its way to the people at Garmin, who have since offered to replace the watch and send him more gear as a way of thanking him for his actions.

“While I think it’s pretty odd, that that’s a heroic thing to stop a person or to help an officer in need — I think everybody should do that — it’s kind of nice that they recognize something like that as being heroic," he said. "It’s a weird thing, somebody calling you a hero on Veterans Day. There’s more qualified individuals that can be sitting here on a day like today to be called a hero.”

Despite the injuries, Hunsucker said he wouldn't want to be the kind of person who sat back and did nothing if he were put in that situation again.

“I would want to be the guy that stepped up and did the right thing," he said.

Follow Holly Hays on Twitter: @hollyvhays


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