A Texas police chief vacationing in New York City intervened in a fight between an alleged thief and a store security officer on the street, and helped arrest the suspect, the NYPD said.
Sean Ford, chief of the Sunset Valley Police Department in the Austin area of Texas, says he was strolling along Fifth Avenue and headed to Central Park when he encountered a scuffle near 58th Street, in front of the Plaza Hotel.
Police said a store employee followed the suspect out of the Abercrombie & Fitch store after he allegedly swiped a fragrance bottle and chased him down Fifth Avenue.
The suspect was swinging at the employee and no one appeared to be helping, even as the struggle became more violent, Ford said.
"Everybody was standing around taking pictures," he said.
Ford's instincts kicked in and he helped break up the fight, holding down the suspect until police arrived, he said.
"I got the guy, told him I was a police officer and took him to the wall, held him there until NYPD could get there," Ford said.
"The officers that responded were amazing, as usual. Just what we would expect and what the rest of the nation looks up to."
The NYPD tweeted a message of thanks to Ford, who now says he feels a little bit more like a New Yorker.
"I probably would not have wanted to do it this way," Ford said, laughing. "But I'm glad I was there and then I got to meet some of the great guys from New York."
The alleged 26-year-old shoplifter was taken to the Midtown North precinct stationhouse on a larceny charge. He's expected to be arraigned overnight or on Saturday morning.