Grand Forks recruiter subdues suspected car thief

2 May 2012 | 9th Marine Corps District

Sgt. Antoni Martin subdued a suspected car thief along Interstate 94 and potentially saved the lives of several motorists April 25.

The Grand Forks, N.D., recruiter drove into a drainage ditch and stopped oncoming traffic after watching a young man jump off of an overpass, nearly causing a multiple-car collision. 

"Here I am driving with my family and the next thing I know I was in the middle of the road with vehicles flowing at 75 mph right past me," said Martin, 29, from Flandreau, S.D. "Nothing you expect on the standard commute home."

After pulling the individual to the side of the road with help from another good samaritan, Martin's Marine Corps muscle memory kicked in and he started checking the man's vitals. He was conscious, but incoherent.

"We didn't know what to expect when we ran up," Martin said.

A minute later the man began struggling with Martin.       

"There's no way I was going to get into a wrestling match with someone along the interstate, so I immobilized him," Martin said.

After restraining the individual, Martin finished checking for injuries and waited until EMTs arrived.  

"I'm trained to be a combat lifesaver so to keep driving seemed irresponsible," he said. "Just glad I was there to stop him from hurting himself and harming another driver."

According to the police officials, Martin's efforts likely saved several lives.

"He prevented a potential fatal crash and it is very much appreciated," said Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Brian Cheney.

Cheney also said the individual's actions might have stemmed from an incident earlier that day involving a stolen a vehicle.  

"He subdued a criminal when he initially thought he was just helping someone out," said Staff Sgt. Jason Knudson, Recruiting Substation Fargo's staff noncommissioned officer in charge. "Saving lives, that's what Marines do."

9th Marine Corps District