Prosper Fire-Rescue Assistant Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame is being credited with helping a Plano police officer stop a fleeing robbery suspect.
Blasingame happened to be eating dinner on a restaurant patio off Preston Road Saturday evening in Frisco when he saw a man running, and shortly after a Plano police officer in chase, giving him commands to stop.
"You could tell he was winded, evidently he had been running quite awhile," Blasingame said.
Plano police say they were called to Walmart after a man, now identified as 20-year-old Alejandro Faber Jr., reportedly stole items. When he was confronted, he assaulted a store loss prevention officer, according to police. As a Plano police officer arrived, he noticed the suspect running north toward State Highway 121.
Police say Faber crossed the highway, ran through a car dealership and into a nearby shopping center and near the restaurant where Blasingame was eating. The assistant fire chief then rushed to help.
"I was barefoot, that's what everybody laughed about when I first started to run, and I realized I had some sliders on and I wasn't able to run very fast in them so I stopped and kicked the flip-flops off and took off running," Blasingame said. "Later, after everything was over, I had to go get my flip flops."
Blasingame said he ran directly at the fleeing man, who at one point seemed to backtrack, and that was enough for the officer to catch him. Blasingame said the man was fighting the officer, who was trying to place him in handcuffs.
"Immediately the fight was on," Blasingame said. "They started fighting on the ground, so I jumped down and tried to pin the guy down, tried to the help the officer. I told him who I was really quick and said, 'I'm just here to help you.'"
Blasingame said he helped pin Faber down until he was safely in custody.
He said he didn't worry about putting himself in danger before he acted, and would do it again if he found himself in the same situation.
"I don't think you have the time to process that information," Blasingame said. "Somebody asked me, 'Did you think he had a gun?' You don't know. I mean, I don't think you even, that doesn't even go through your mind. It didn't go through mind. It might have been going through the officer's mind."