A woman is claiming that she and her friend had to wrestle down a man they caught breaking into their car by themselves because a Detroit police officer refused to help.
During an interview with Local 4, Lydia Officer said she and a friend were walking out of her mother's house near Bethune Street and Woodward Avenue in the New Center area on Saturday afternoon when they saw a man breaking into her Chrysler Sebring.
Officer said without thinking, she jumped into action and grabbed onto the man. She said her mother called Detroit police three times, but no one showed up.
For 20 minutes, Officer said she and her friend wrestled with the man in order to keep him on the ground. Officer said her friend worked so hard she had an asthma attack.
"We were holding him and just kind of holding him like so," she said. "We were trying to keep him from getting away."
Officer said a person walking by offered to help the women take the man to a nearby police station. They began the walk to the department's Central District station on Grand Boulevard and Woodward Avenue but, Officer said, they came upon a police officer parked outside a bank. She said she tried to explain to the officer what was going on, but the officer brushed the situation off.
"I asked him, 'Well, can't you put him in the back of your car?' And he said, 'No,' she said. "At that point, the Wayne State Police Department came."
She said the officer drove off as soon as the university police officer came and arrested the man.
The allegations of the Detroit police officer's negligence and indifference are being taken seriously, said Detroit Deputy Police Chief James Tolbert.
"That should never happen," Tolbert said. "If it proves to be true and these things happened, believe me, we will deal with it as strongly as we can."
Tolbert said the Board of Police Commissioners are looking into identifying the officer and would decide whether any disciplinary actions would be given.
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