By Gabriel Roxas

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FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – A suspected thief’s getaway is ruined when an off-duty firefighter springs into action to help a Plano police officer.

People were enjoying their meal on the patio of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop when a man suspected of robbing a nearby WalMart came running through the parking lot being chased by police. And sitting on that patio happened to be a man who’s spent his career working side-by-side police officers as a firefighter. But this time, the firefighter got to help take down one of the bad guys.

Police said 20-year-old Alejandro Faber had just robbed a Plano Walmart when an officer spotted him running across Highway-121. The officer chased him on foot and was afraid he would lose him when he turned the corner and ran into the parking lot of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. That’s where Prosper Assistant Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame was having dinner with his wife.

“Probably two or three seconds afterwards we heard and saw a police officer in full uniform hollering get on the ground,” Blasingame said.

That’s when he knew he had to do something.

“I told my wife, I said, I’ve got to go,” Blasingame said.

Sydney Potter was working at the restaurant and says people didn’t know what was happening.

“I mean, he just took off, like he was gone completely I think he might have jumped over the fence to be honest ’cause I didn’t even see him come through here,” Potter said.

Another man from the restaurant followed Blasingame to help, and the two managed to cut off the suspect’s path, forcing him to change direction into the path of the police officer, who quickly tackled him.

“It happened so fast but before I knew it my knee was down on the guy’s back, and I’m holding his arm, pulling his arm out from underneath him, pulling it behind his back, and I told the officer real quick, I said, hey I’m just here to help you. He said, please do,” Blasingame said.

“I think it’s awesome, you know, off the clock, just trying to have his dinner, and he was still helping, you know,” Potter said.

Police credit everyone who pitched in, including a woman who helped police find a weapon the suspect ditched as he was running. After so much recent public animosity towards police officers, Blasingame hopes the Back The Blue movement is influencing more people to support police officers.

“It’s a good feeling, especially with everything that’s gone on lately with the police department and the negativity. We love our brothers in blue,” Blasingame said.

Chief Blasingame points out he did identify himself as a firefighter to the officer, and he urges everyone to be careful if they find themselves in a similar situation.

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