A veteran is being lauded as a hero after video surfaced of him chasing down a suspected rapist and holding him at gunpoint until authorities arrived.
“A lady behind me just said, ‘He raped that girl in the bathroom,’ and once she said that, there was nothing else for me to do besides go out the door after him,” Marine veteran Damian Austin said of the scene that unfolded in a Georgia Kroger grocery store last month, according to Nexstar Media Wire.
The suspect attempted to flee the scene after Austin heard a woman’s scream from the bathroom that “made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.”
Video shows Austin chasing the suspect behind an Ace Hardware near the Kroger, where he then held him at gunpoint.
“I told him to put his hands in the air. He complied and put them up,” Austin recalled. “I told him to get on the ground, and he tried to say something, and I said, ‘Don’t say a word.’”
A bystander also brought Austin zip ties to subdue the suspect further until police arrived.
“I immediately thought, ‘My wife shops here, I have friends whose wives shop here, my son works here,’” Austin added of why he sprang into action. “So, it was just about not letting this person get away after he did what he did.”
Police identified the suspect as Gregory Hawthorne, 25, and took him into custody.
The Ace Hardware lauded Austin for his bravery and awarded him a gift card to the store.
“There are people who still care, and they’ll act in time of need,” Austin said.
Author : Emma Colton