The Dedham Police Department recognized eight local youths on Wednesday for their help in arresting a suspect earlier this month.
On July 14 around 10:55 a.m., Officer Brian Crump was on traffic patrol on Cedar Street near a parks and recreation day camp. He spotted a speeder and stepped out into the street to stop the driver, but instead of complying, the man sped off.
Police said the man then drove around the corner and pulled over on Turner Road and jumped out of the car. As his passenger took the wheel and drove off in the car, the man started running through the backyards of nearby homes.
According to Crump, police later found out the man was on parole for a previous drug charge and would face 18 months in jail if caught committing another crime.
“I tried to stop the vehicle, but it became obvious that he wasn’t going to stop," Crump said in a phone interview Thursday. "The kids obviously noticed I was trying to get him to stop and that instead, he went flying around the next side street."
A group of children at the camp heard a woman tell Crump that she saw a man running through yards, so they ran toward the homes that lined the field of the park.
As the suspect ran, the children kept up with him and provided a description of his location and clothing. Crump then relayed that back to another officer, who arrested the man a few minutes later on Turner Street.
“There’s no doubt that if these kids weren’t yelling, we might not have gotten him,” Crump said. “I had a good shot of his face, but they gave me a description of his clothes and honestly, I was kind of taken aback because it was a perfect description.”
Alan M. Bartlett, 23, of Hyde Park, was arrested on charges of speeding, driving with a suspended license, and failing to stop for police.
Crump said the students were honored Wednesday at Town Hall with certificates of appreciation from himself, the chief, and officer Ron Pucci, who made the arrest.
“The kids were all really happy,” Crump said. “A lot of kids these days have a negative outlook about police because they aren’t rewarded a lot, so it was nice to see that they were recognized.”
Natalie Feulner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.