Good Samaritan assists Columbus officer during foot chase


Mug shot of Derek Woodson courtesy of Columbus PD

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UPDATE: Derek Woodson pleaded guilty to possession of Methamphetamine and was sentenced to 26 months. Thirteen months will be in jail and 13 months will be spent as community corrections work release or home detention.

COLUMBUS, Ind. – A Good Samaritan assisted a Columbus officer by tackling the suspect during a foot chase.

Columbus Police Officer Travis Harbaugh observed Derek Woodson, 37, near 25th Street and US 31 on Wednesday afternoon.

When Woodson observed Harbaugh exit his patrol car, he began running from the officer.

There was a warrant out for Woodson’s arrest, and Harbaugh ordered him to stop running.

A Good Samaritan saw what was going on, and he grabbed Woodson and took him to the ground. He held Woodson down until Harbaugh was able to get him handcuffed.

Harbaugh found a small amount of meth, marijuana and a glass smoking pipe in Woodson’s clothing.

4 Fast Facts

  • A Columbus officer tracked down a man with a warrant.
  • The man started running from police.
  • A bystander saw the suspect and tackled him and pinned him to the ground.
  • The man was arrested and faces five charges.

“We would like to thank the Good Samaritan for assisting Officer Harbaugh” said Lt. Matt Harris, Public Relations Officer for the Columbus Police Department. “While we certainly don’t advocate civilians putting themselves in harm’s way, his quick actions and willingness to assist of our officer made a difference.”

Woodson was transported to the Bartholomew County Jail on the following preliminary charges: Bartholomew County warrant, resisting law enforcement, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia.

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