MANHATTAN, New York - A civilian helped catch an armed suspect Thursday, who was fleeing from police in New York City.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York, the suspect, Jason Fleming, was arrested on March 16 after brandishing loaded weapons following a dispute in a crowded bodega in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
Surveillance video shows Fleming, 39, outside the bodega pulling back his coat momentarily to reveal a rifle that had been swung over his shoulder.
Police officers then approached the suspect after a witness called 911, and Fleming took off running down the sidewalk.
Additional footage posted by the district on Twitter shows the citizen stopping Fleming before pushing him into a nearby fence and handing him over to police.
"As alleged, the defendant illegally brandished two loaded firearms in broad daylight on a Manhattan street, one of which was a carbine rifle, frightening numerous New Yorkers, including a child," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. "Thanks to our law enforcement partners and the heroic efforts of a Good Samaritan, the defendant was apprehended before he could hurt anyone, and his weapons are now off the streets."
According to police, Fleming was not permitted to possess firearms because of his two prior felony convictions for unlawful firearms possession.
Fleming is charged with possession of firearms after a felony conviction, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
"HSI special agents are committed to public safety and do not hesitate to act when members of the community are threatened," HSI special agent in charge Ivan J. Arvelo said. "I am proud of our agents’ hard work and efforts with the rapid apprehension of this criminal and the follow-on investigative support provided to the New York City Police Department. HSI remains steadfast in our commitment to our law enforcement partners in the cause of community safety."