|Wilkes-Barre DPW worker Martin Dartoe talks about how he detained a man in the city Monday night after observing a police foot chase. ‘I just reacted and I’d do it again,’ Dartoe said|
The off-duty Wilkes-Barre Department of Public Works employee helped detain a suspect who was fleeing from state police following a traffic stop, according to a release by troopers.
Suspect Jason Alexander Hackett allegedly showed signs of intoxication and dropped packets of suspected heroin as he fled.
But Hackett didn’t get very far, thanks to quick thinking by Dartoe, a former college wrestler and native of Liberia.
“I was born in war-torn Africa,” Dartoe said. “I just reacted and I’d do it again.”
According to a criminal complaint filed by state police, a trooper attempted to stop Hackett, operating a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, for traveling 50 mph in a 35 mph zone on Kidder Street at about 8:40 p.m.
Hackett turned into a parking lot and failed to stop, then turned onto Scott Street. He stopped near Hortense Street and abandoned the Jeep, troopers added.
“I was in my car on Scott Street and I heard a loud (screeching) sound,” said Dartoe, 29. “I saw police lights and a guy run out of his car.”
“I went after him and we started to scuffle,” Dartoe said.
Dartoe had Hackett pinned against a woman’s house and urged her to call the police.
“At that point he still tried to fight with me,” Dartoe said. “I body-slammed him and held him on the ground until police came.”
City police took Hackett into custody shortly afterward.
A suspected heroin packet labelled “Devils Rejects” was found near where Hackett was detained, troopers said. He was observed to have watery, bloodshot and droopy eyes, and allegedly admitted he consumed drugs before the traffic stop. Hackett consented to a blood test, state police added.
Hackett, 26, of South Grant Street, was wanted on a Luzerne County warrant for an alleged probation violation.
He was arraigned later Monday by District Judge Joseph Halesey in Hanover Township on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, fleeing or attempting to elude police, driving under the influence of a controlled substance, flight to avoid apprehension, driving with a suspended license and several traffic violations.
Hackett was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $25,000 bail
Dartoe, 29, said he would do it all over.
“I’m not a hero. I’m just an individual who wants to protect senior citizens, women, children and anyone who can’t protect themselves,” he said.
The North River Street resident said he also has another idea to serve the community: He plans to run for a seat on Luzerne County Council.
“I am going to pick up my petition on Feb. 12,” the former King’s College wrestler said. “All I need to do is submit my resume and cover letter.”
Source: Times Leader