Florida football players help tackle escaping thief during Walmart fundraiser

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

The Rutherford High football team (Panama City, Fla.) arrived at the Walmart in Callaway Florida with the intention of leaving with a few more dollars in their drive to fund badly needed new uniforms. They left as cult heroes after helping nab a suspected thief who appeared to be well on his way to a clean escape.

As reported by Panama City NBC affiliate WJHG, the Rutherford football team was holding a traditional "shake the can" style fundraiser at a local Walmart, hoping to get spare change from shoppers, when they were suddenly summoned by a local police officer who was in pursuit of a suspected shoplifter.

After awakening to the fact that the policeman in question was completely serious about the escaping shoplifter, the teens sprung into action. Eight different players all chased after the suspected thief on a wild chase through the Walmart itself. Eventually, Rutherford player Yakeif Duncan caught up to the elusive thief and wrestled him to the ground. You can see the players in action in the video captured by a shopper above.

Despite the prospective robber's best attempts he couldn't escape Duncan and his teammates who quickly descended on the scene.

"He threw a punch at me," Duncan told WJHG. "I dodged it and one of my friends was like, oh once he threw the punch he tackled him and then wrapped him up. And he tried to get away from him and we just slammed him."

That was the end of the would-be robber's day, as he was quickly brought under control by local police and booked. For his part, Rutherford football coach Alvin Dempsey said that the actions of his players were not surprising but were gratifying for the program nonetheless.

"That's one of the things we talk about in building our program-character, young men, great citizens. You know it’s just some of the things we teach that they just stepped up and did today."

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