Man who tackled suspect: ‘I didn’t have time to think’
AVON — Kurt Kuper is a good guy who did not set out to tackle a bad guy; he was just trying to get home.
Kuper, 27, spotted David Martinez running from the police — yet again — as Kuper was strolling from the Walgreens store in Avon toward the nearby bus stop, where he would catch the ECO bus home.
As Kuper approached the bus stop, the one near the construction site where the Windham hotel is being built in Avon, he said he could hear a bunch of commotion inside the fence.
Police were chasing Martinez on foot from where he’d been spotted in a nearby hotel. Martinez ducked into that construction site and police funneled him toward a corner, police said.
Apparently, Martinez was trying to pose as a construction worker and was walking around the construction site asking for a hard hat. The construction workers and the police didn’t seem interested in completing Martinez’ construction clothing ensemble, shouting that he was not allowed in there.
Support Local Journalism
Martinez kept running, with Avon Police Officer Tyler Churches running after him.
“When he came through the fence he didn’t have a shirt on. It kind of looked like he’d had it torn off,” Kuper said.
‘HEADED STRAIGHT FOR ME’
Martinez couldn’t get through the gate, but there was a break in the fence and he headed for that, Kuper said.
“When he came through the fence, he was headed straight for me,” Kuper said. “I didn’t have time to think. I kind of knew it was him because I’d heard he was around. I just got a big dose of adrenaline. I threw down my backpack and grabbed him around the waist. He was tired, so he went down pretty easily.”
Kuper grabbed Martinez around the waist, did a football tackle and “subdued” Martinez for the few seconds until Churches could get there.
Kuper is originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virgina. He’s working in the construction and development industry.
Police aren’t in the habit of asking residents to tackle suspects, said Lt. Greg Daly with the Avon Police Department, but in this case they were glad to have the help.
“We were pretty impressed,” Daly said. “We would generally not request citizens to get involved. It resulted in the apprehension of Mr. Martinez, who had eluded police on two previous occasions.”
Police spent part of Sept. 17 searching for Martinez, 26, after he bolted and ran when he was confronted by a police officer in the Avon Rec Center based on the fact that he has two warrants out for his arrest.
Martinez remains in the Eagle County jail on charges of resisting arrest and violating a restraining order. Both charges carry a $1,500 bond.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.