THE last thing Mitchell Fairy expected when he turned up to work on Monday was to be involved in a citizen’s arrest.
It was a typical working day on a building site in Canobolas Place for the burley 20-year-old Adenbrook Homes tradesman – until he was called on to help a struggling off-duty police officer.
The young man was talking to nearby neighbour Don Williamson when he noticed a commotion across the road.
He said he initially thought it was a domestic situation, until the off-duty female police officer called out for help.
“She yelled out for help and the guy had his fists up in the air ... ,” he recalled.
“As I was running over, he threw a few punches at her but she managed to dodge them and grabbed him and started to wrestle.
“As I got there, she managed to throw him over her shoulder and I jumped on him and held him down.”
The young man called out to Mr Williamson to phone the police but, before he knew it, the elderly neighbour also got in on the commotion.
“He was already on the ground when I got there I just helped to hold him down,” he said.
Police said a 23-year-old man was spotted by an off-duty officer at about 9.30am on Monday.
He was carrying a television set and was allegedly observed walking into a front yard, put the TV set down and picked up a bicycle. When he was confronted, police said he took up a fighting stance and the officer feared for her safety.
During the struggle, both Mr Fairy and Mr Williamson attempted to wave down passing motorists for assistance, but they said no one stopped.
The off duty officer called for back-up and both the good Samaritans said it was only a matter of minutes before other police cars arrived.
Crime prevention officer Senior Constable Steve Cherry said public assistance was always appreciated.
“Safety of course is paramount,” he said.
“It’s most important that you don’t get yourself injured when or if you assist.
“But when capable, it’s always much appreciated.”
A man was later charged with stealing, having goods in personal custody suspected of being stolen, and assaulting police.
He was granted conditional bail to appear at Port Macquarie Local Court on September 10.