Fred Haggett raced along the highway with his gun drawn, trying to end the threat.
A heavily armed man had been terrorizing motorists on Interstate 70 in Jefferson County, Colorado, Wednesday, an alleged crime spree captured on dramatic helicopter footage.
The suspect, later identified by police as Christopher David Sullivan, 37, could be seen standing on the highway, allegedly pointing his gun at passing motorists. Haggett, a deputy with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, said he was worried that the man would hijack another vehicle.
“It’s a momentary thought that I’m outgunned and I need to engage him,” Haggett said.
Police say Sullivan and a teenage girl led them on a nearly two-hour car and foot chase, which authorities allege involved three stolen cars, two home burglaries and six crime scenes.
As Deputy Haggett zipped past Sullivan on his motorcycle, the man dropped his weapons and raised his hands as he backed along the highway.
“He’s holding his hands up in the air and saying, ‘Don’t shoot me, don’t shoot me.’ But then he’s not following the orders to get down on the ground,” Haggett, 61, said. “So I holstered my weapon and went after him.”
The deputy chased the man, grabbing his shirt and tackling him, as can be seen on video. Two other good Samaritans emerged, helping to hold the suspect down. Somehow, no one was injured.
Has Haggett seen the dramatic footage?
“Yes, the answer is yes, I’ve seen it three times since,” he said, smiling.
The 22-year veteran insists he is not a hero, though a lot of thankful drivers might disagree. Other agencies and officers worked to stop the man, too.
“I ended up being the guy on the spot,” he said.