Pep Boys workers tackle, pin assault suspect - Fox 2 News Headlines

Pep Boys workers tackle, pin assault suspect

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Pep Boys Store Manager John Lingerfelt Pep Boys Store Manager John Lingerfelt
ATLANTA -

Fast and fearless, two Pep Boys employees tackled and pinned a man who allegedly assaulted a teen until officers arrived Tuesday, Atlanta police said.

GM John Lingerfelt says he first noticed seeing the suspect as he was driving into the Pep Boys located in on Piedmont Road the Lindbergh neighborhood. Lingerfelt says the suspect acted oddly and followed the 16-year-old girl, who was on her way to school.

Then, at some point, the suspect allegedly attacked and began choking the teen. She managed to get away from the man with help from her mother, who was steps behind her daughter. The mother and daughter were driven by a Good Samaritan to the nearby Pep Boys shop, where they waited for police.

The store's GM said that he couldn't help but think of his own teenaged daughter as the victim waited in his store for authorities to arrive. Then Lingerfelt said he happened to look outside and saw a man acting strangely.

"I grabbed the young lady and I said, ‘Is that him?' And she broke down in tears and was like, ‘Yes, yes, yes,'" said Lingerfelt.

Lingerfelt and the other employee went out of the store, tackled the suspect and kept him pinned until police officers arrived.

"I just didn't think; I just acted," Lingerfelt said. "I seen him and I knew that I was not going to let this guy get away, to hurt anybody else."

Weighing 125 pounds, Lingerfelt said he never thought twice about his own safety, even though the suspect was much larger.

"It's not always how big you are, it's where you hit them or where you get them, so I went low and was able to get him down and hold him, but my adrenaline was running so fast that it wouldn't have mattered his size," said Lingerfelt.

The 16-year-old girl's mother said that her daughter had marks along her neck.

"He grabbed her by the neck. He was trying to pull her by the neck and he asked for her ID," said the victim's mother. "She was just petrified."

The girl's mother went to the store to thank Lingerfelt and the other employee.

"He is my daughter's hero and he's definitely my hero," said the mother.

The mother said that her daughter won't be taking that route to school anymore.

"From now on she will be taken to school or her bus stop until we get out of the area," she said.

Authorities say the suspect – identified as 27-year-old Tansu Kanlica – was taken to Fulton County Jail. He is charged with simple battery. His bond was set at $3,000.

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