"Good Citizen Award" recipient talks about helping deputy

RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - The good Samaritan who helped a Russell County Sheriff's deputy chase down a thief who stole a patrol car more than a week ago was honored Wednesday for his brave act.

It started when a Russell County Sheriff's deputy was involved in a fight with a suspect and had his patrol car stolen along Highway 431. Brandon Thrash saw it happen and says didn't think twice about stepping in to help, "I saw the deputy car take off with the deputy dragging behind it for a brief second, so I figured I would just pull in and see if he needed help. Then I asked him if he wanted to go chase his car."

Thrash, who received a Good Citizen Award at Russell County Commission, says he didn't have any experience with high speed chases involving suspects, but his adrenaline kicked in and the deputy talked him through it, "He just told me to keep up with the car. He stayed on the radio telling everyone where we were and calling in for backup."

Then officials say the suspect, Jatavis Brown, wrecked the patrol car and took off into a wooded area. The deputy and good Samaritan Thrash followed.

"He said he was going to need some help and I am pretty good in the woods, I know my way around trees and stuff. But my first question was if he had a gun," explained Thrash.

Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor told News Leader 9, "It is not every day that somebody takes time out of their schedule to stop on the side of the road during an obvious bad encounter, help a deputy get into a car chase, put themselves and their vehicle in potential danger, and then even past that get into a foot chase in the woods with the deputy, while really not knowing what was going to occur."

Thrash proudly accepted his award saying, "It means a lot. It means they really do care that someone helped them and maybe they will help us too."

We asked Brandon Thrash if he had any interest in going into law enforcement, and he says he will stick with his current job as a welder. He also said he won't think twice about helping out if a similar situation ever happens again.

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