Thieves of America, beware! There are football players all around you.
That was proved true Thursday, when a thief who stole more than $800 worth of merchandise from a Target at a mall in Washington state was summarily flattened with a take-down form tackle by a 14-year-old high school football player.
As first reported by Seattle CBS affiliate KIRO, Seattle Prep freshman football player Kevin Merz was shopping in an Old Navy store at a mall in Bellevue when he noticed a man rushing through, trying to evade police. The teen sprung into action, leveling the thief with a true form tackle, allowing pursuing police to handcuff the man and take him into custody.
“It was just like a Hollywood movie,” the 6’1,” Merz told KIRO. “I saw him running from outside the store and I was like ‘okay, there’s some crazy guy in here.’”
A 6-foot-1, 200-plus pound left tackle, Merz had a clear size advantage over the thief, whom he guesstimated was approximately, “5-6, 5-7.” Still, to spring into action so suddenly is both notable and honorable. It earned plaudits from the Bellevue police department, which reportedly plans to nominate Merz for a citizenship award. Given Merz’s motivation for getting involved, it sounds like he deserves one.
“I’m just trying to be a good citizen,” Merz said.
Follow Cam Smith on Twitter: @camsmithsports