Good Samaritan aids officer in drug arrest

A Columbus police officer was assisted by a passerby during a foot pursuit, when a Good Samaritan grabbed the suspect and pulled him to the ground.

Derek B. Woodson, 37, 5213 Lamplight Drive, was being chased at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday near 25th Street and U.S. 31 after Officer Travis Harbaugh told him he had a warrant for his arrest, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

A Good Samaritan who heard Harbaugh yelling at the suspect grabbed Woodson and took him to the ground, Harris said. The Good Samaritan held Woodson until the officer was able to put Woodson in handcuffs.

Harbaugh later found a small amount of methamphetamine, marijuana and a glass smoking pipe in Woodson’s clothing, Harris said.

The department thanked the Good Samaritan for helping Harbaugh but cautioned that the department does not advocate civilians putting themselves in harm’s way. But Harris also said the person’s quick actions and willingness to assist made a difference.

Police arrested Woodson on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting law enforcement and a Bartholomew County warrant, Harris said.

Woodson is being held at the Bartholomew County Jail in lieu of $70,500 bond, jail officials said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.