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Man helps hold suspect down after foot chase with police

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A police officer struggling to subdue a suspect after a foot chase completed the arrest with the help of a Columbus resident.

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Swank was called about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday to the Heritage Heights housing addition, near Taylorsville, to investigate a report of a man driving a vehicle not registered to him, Deputy Sheriff Maj. Todd Noblitt said.

Swank found Rigoberto Garcia, 28, of 2960 Andrew Drive in Columbus, outside a car and tried to talk to him, but Garcia fled, Noblitt said.

Swank called other officers to the area to help search for Garcia. Detective Jason Lancaster located Garcia and chased him over a chain-link fence, Noblitt said.

Garcia punched Lancaster before Lancaster tackled Garcia and held him on the ground. Garcia tried to escape, and the struggle made it impossible for Lancaster to handcuff the man or call for backup, Noblitt said.

A resident who witnessed the foot chase helped hold Garcia down, allowing Lancaster to complete the arrest, Noblitt said.

The resident has asked to remain anonymous, he added.

The assistance provided by the resident is an example of how law enforcement officers and the public can join together to keep the community safe, Noblitt said.

Lancaster sustained an injury to a finger and had some reddening where he was punched on the left side of the face. However, he didn’t need immediate medical attention, Noblitt said.

Garcia was arrested on felony charges of battery on a police officer and possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana.

He also was arrested on misdemeanor charges of resisting law enforcement and false informing, and on warrants from Bartholomew and Shelby counties.

Garcia is being held at the Bartholomew County Jail without bond.

Bartholomew County Prosecutor Bill Nash will determine what charges, if any, to file.

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