Raleigh, NC – A murder suspect’s brief escape ended abruptly on Monday, when a bystander ran up behind the fleeing inmate and tackled him from behind.
George William Knisley, 41, was wanted in Cumberland County, Virginia for the murder of 29-year-old Matthew Broyles, a friend of Knisley’s ex-girlfriend, Amy Renee Fabian, WTVR reported.
Broyles was found dead at Fabian’s home on May 24, and Fabian, 43, is still missing.
While investigators in Virginia were investigating Broyles’ murder, the South Hill Police Department received a 911 call from a woman who said she was carjacked at gunpoint.
The suspect, later identified as Knisley, ended up in a vehicle pursuit with law enforcement in Raleigh, and was ultimately arrested on Saturday night, WRAL reported.
But as a deputy preparing to transport him from the Public Safety Center to the Wake County Detention Center on Monday, Knisley began to complain that his handcuffs were too tight.
The Wake County deputy loosened his handcuffs, at which point Knisley shoved his way past him, knocking him to the ground, and took off running down Davie Street on foot.
John Martinez Jr. said that he and his wife were out walking in the area when he saw the deputy chasing after a man in an orange jumpsuit.
“It was like someone in a costume,” Martinez recounted to WRAL on Tuesday. “I saw that he had a handcuff on one hand and it was dangling around – both of his hands were free.”
The couple also realized that Knisley was widening the gap between himself and the pursuing deputy, so Martinez’s wife yelled out to see if the deputy needed assistance.
“He screamed yes, so I handed my phone to my wife and took off,” Martinez said.
The Good Samaritan chased after the accused murderer, and tackled him to the ground near Dawson street.
“I took him down to the ground, pinned his arms around his back,” he said. “He begged me to let me go. [He] said, ‘Let me go. Let me go. I am wanted for murder,’ and I was like, ‘there is no chance.’”
Another bystander rushed in to help Martinez get Knisley back into his handcuffs, and he was subdued and restrained by the time deputies arrived.
“We gave each other a fist punch, said good job and went to lunch,” Martinez told WRAL with a laugh.
After he was recaptured, Knisley allegedly told deputies that he is a “murderer and didn’t want to live any longer,” according to the News and Observer.
Knisley was booked into the Wake County jail, where he is being held without bond for a fugitive extradition warrant out of Virginia, WRAL reported.
He has also been charged with two counts of resisting a public officer, robbery with a dangerous weapon, fleeing or eluding arrest with a motor vehicle, and possession of a stolen firearm.
Police said that Knisley is also the prime suspect in several motor vehicle thefts between Maryland and Raleigh.
The search for Fabian, who has been listed as a critically missing adult, is currently focused in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, police said.