Elizabeth City, NC – A U.S. Navy veteran helped save the life of a North Carolina police officer after he spotted a man trying to take the officer’s duty weapon as they brawled in a nearby field.
The incident began just before 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 24, after police received a report of a disturbance in the 3000-block of Patrick Way, WTKR reported.
When officers arrived in the area, they spotted a vehicle that had been reported as stolen earlier in the day.
A short while later, a witness called to update police that someone was hiding in a dumpster, and that he had since relocated to a port-a-john, WBBT reported.
As the officers closed in on the port-a-john, a man suddenly shoved the door open and took off running into a nearby field.
Elizabeth City Police Officer Andre Dimichele chased him on foot into the field, but the suspect, later identified as 36-year-old Jonathan Foskey, wasn’t about to surrender, WAVY reported.
“When he turned around in the cornfield, I went right up to him and put hands on him and told him ‘you’re under arrest,’” Officer Dimichele told the news outlet. “He decided then he didn’t want to be arrested.”
As Officer Dimichele tussled with Foskey, the suspect threatened to kill him and attempted to gain control of his holstered duty weapon, he said.
“I was fighting with him to keep my gun in the holster,” the officer recalled. “He was trying to take it out. The feeling in that moment was ‘I am completely alone.’”
What Officer Dimichele didn’t realize was that that a neighbor, 12-year U.S. Navy veteran George Parsons, was witnessing the attack from his home nearby.
“When I came around the corner of my house, I saw the guy holding, like, trying to pull the officer’s gun out of his holster,” Parsons told WAVY. “So, I just made the decision that I had to act or something really bad could’ve happened to the police officer or the assailant.”
The good Samaritan took off running through the field, then slammed into Foskey and tackled him to the ground.
He kept the combative suspect pinned in the dirt while Officer Dimichele handcuffed him.
Foskey was subsequently charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, larceny of a motor vehicle, felony assault by spitting, three counts of communicating threats, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, assault on a government official, delaying and obstruction of a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest, WWBT reported.
His bond was set at $500,000.
Officer Dimichele said he is grateful to Parsons for intervening in the terrifying situation, and credits him with potentially having saved his life.
“I have a child that was born four-and-a-half months ago — a little girl – and it’s amazing to know she’s going to grow up with a father because of Mr. Parsons,” Officer Dimichele told WAVY.
Parsons said that helping people is what the Navy has trained him to do, and that he would rush to the aid of a struggling officer again without hesitation.
“I guess I got a few football coaches to thank back in Dallas,” he said of the tackle that brought Foskey to the ground.
Parson was recently awarded the Elizabeth City Mayoral Certificate of Appreciation for his selfless actions that day, WAVY reported.
“I just saw the need to act, and that’s what I did,” he said.