Washington, DC – A group of off-duty, out-of-state law enforcement officers visiting the U.S. capitol for Police Week sprang into action when a robbery unfolded right in front of them.
“Criminals are dumb,” Law Enforcement Officers Weekend said in a Facebook post after the incident. “They are so dumb, that they attempt a robbery, in Washington DC, during Police Week, when thousands of officers flock to the city.”
The attack occurred at approximately 12 p.m. on Monday, when six people came up to a Virginia man from behind, knocked him to the ground, and stole his iPhone X, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The suspects then began striking the victim repeatedly in the head, and tried to steal his backpack.
Hamilton Police Officer Jordan Kostoplis, a New Jersey officer who was in town for the national memorial, spotted the robbery-in-progress, and yelled at the attackers to stop.
The suspects took off on foot, but Officer Kostoplis and six St. Louis County police officers gave chase.
The group “helped the other officer bring the suspect under control and waited until uniformed patrol officers arrived,” St. Louis County Sergeant Benjamin Granda said.
The other suspects remain at large.
Sgt. Granda identified the St. Louis County officers as Detective David Sandbach, Detective John Spicer, Officer Chris Steib, Lieutenant Juan Gomez, and retired Sergeant Dan Steele.
Five of the St. Louis County officers are also members of the department’s Pipes and Drums Unit.
The St. Louis County officers praised Officer Kostoplis for stopping the attack, and said he was a true “hero,” Sgt. Granda added.
“Great job to all officers involved,” the Law Enforcement Officers Weekend post read. “Better luck next time to the criminals.”