Tuscaloosa Sheriff Recognizes Citizens Who Helped Restrain Suspect Reaching for Deputy’s Gun
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy recognized a trio of citizens who went above and beyond to help one of his deputies who was in a dangerous struggle with an alleged burglary suspect last month.
In a Thursday afternoon Facebook post, the sheriff's office shared pictures of a ceremony to commend Larry Smith, Tyra Brown and Timothy Harper for their roles in assisting Sgt. Mike Kowzan in October.
TCSO said Kowzan was on patrol and pulled over a burglary suspect who jumped out of his vehicle and fiercely resisted Kowzan as he tried to arrest him. Unable to handcuff the suspect and with his radio out of reach, the sergeant was in a tight spot when Larry Smith walked by and saw the struggle unfolding.
Smith alerted the other civilians, Brown and Harper, and the three sprung into action.
Ms. Tyra Brown called the Tuscaloosa Police Department to get backup on the way, and when a loaded magazine fell from Kowzan's duty belt, she had the presence of mind to stomp on it and keep it under control.
When the suspect allegedly reached for Sgt. Kowzan's gun, Timothy Harper and a passing truck driver, Jonefourl Wallace, joined the law enforcement officer and restrained the suspect long enough for him to be cuffed.
"The suspect was clearly under the influence of narcotics, and it took these three men several minutes to get him handcuffed," TCSO said. "Tuscaloosa Police Department officers arrived and assisted in getting the suspect in one of their vehicles. The bravery and selfless service of these citizens is sincerely appreciated. Without their courage and disregard for their own safety, Sgt. Kowzan would not have been able to apprehend the suspect, and quite possibly, someone could have been seriously injured.
"Mr. Larry Smith is commended for bringing this dangerous situation to the attention of his neighbors, and for taking time to go to the Tuscaloosa Police Department headquarters to report what took place," TCSO said on Facebook.
"Ms. Tyra Brown is commended for the outstanding job she did communicating with TPD dispatch and having the wherewithal to place her foot on the magazine to prevent the suspect from gaining access to it."
"Mr. Timothy Harper is commended for his courage and assistance to help restrain the suspect despite knowing that it was a dangerous situation as the suspect was attempting to gain control of Sgt. Kowzan’s gun."
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Gallery Credit: (Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)