Good Samaritans jump in to help Chandler police officer fighting with suspect

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Chandler Police Department) (Source: Chandler Police Department)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Justin Erickson didn't think twice about jumping into action to help a Chandler police officer arrest 32-year-old Mathew Martinez, who was wanted for drugs and shoplifting.

"It was super clear that he was resisting arrest," said Erickson. "He wasn't going to go down without a struggle."

Police body cam video from March 7 shows Martinez handcuffed and down on the ground in the parking lot of a Circle K store off Alma School Road and Knox Road in Chandler.

But getting Martinez in custody wasn't easy.

According to Erickson, Martinez and the officer were rolling around on the ground.

That's when the Gilbert restaurant owner and another man ran over to help.

"I stood over his leg and lowered myself down a little to make sure he didn't get his foot up and kick the officer," said Erickson. "We then tried to grab his arm out from behind his back. Once we got his arms out, I asked (the officer) 'do you need me to hold his arms down so you can get your cuffs?'"

Chandler Police Det. Seth Tyler said they're grateful for what the good Samaritans did, especially how they spoke to the officer first, before jumping in the fight.

"One of the good Samaritans actually asked the officer, 'Do you need help' and the officer said 'yes,' and that's very important."

"Sometimes things happen so fast you don't know who is getting in on the pile, so I tried to make it clear that we're here to help him, not the other guy," said Erickson.

The Chandler police chief sent both good Samaritans a letter thanking them for their actions.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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