‘I had to act’: Navy sailor honored for tackling man during alleged altercation with police

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ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — A possibly life-saving tackle was captured on a witness’s cell phone.

“I just saw a need to act, and that’s what I did,” said George Parsons.

Elizabeth City Police Officer Andre Dimichele said it all started on Oct. 24. Police received a call about a possible car larceny suspect hiding out in a neighborhood portable toilet.

When he got there, 36-year-old Johnathan Foskey took off into a nearby field, which happened to be just past George Parsons’s backyard.

“When he turned around in the cornfield, I went right up to him and put hands on him and told him you’re under arrest and he decided then he didn’t want to be arrested,”said Dimichele.

Dimichele said Foskey threatened to kill him and reached for his duty belt.

“I was fighting with him to keep my gun in the holster. He was trying to take it out. The feeling in that moment was ‘I am completely alone,'” Dimchele explained.

However, he wasn’t alone at all.

Parsons, who’s been in the U.S. Navy for 12 years, jumped in to help with a clean tackle.

A video obtained by WAVY.com shows a man in teal — Parsons — running through the field toward the other two men. He doesn’t stop running until he tackles the man wearing white, bringing him to the ground.

“When I came around the corner of my house, I saw the guy holding, like, trying to pull the officer’s gun out of his holster. So, I just made the decision that I had to act or something really bad could’ve happened,” Parsons said.

Parsons was able to hold Foskey down until Dimichele could put handcuffs on him.

Dimichele said he’s not sure he’d be here today if it weren’t for Parsons’s quick thinking.

“I have a child that was born four-and-a-half months ago — a little girl … and it’s amazing to know she’s going to grow up with a father because of Mr. Parsons,” Demichele said.

Parsons said he’d do it again in a heartbeat, because that’s what he’s been trained to do: help people in need.

“I guess I got a few football coaches to thank back in Dallas,” Parsons said with a chuckle.

Last week, Parsons received the city’s Mayoral Certificate of Appreciation for what he did.

Foskey is being held at the Albemarle District Jail and faces more than a dozen charges, including resisting arrest and assault on a government official.

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