April 13, 2011
Hutchinson Community College (Kan.) men's basketball coach Steve Eck helped catch a burglary suspect who was trying to rob his dorm room early Wednesday morning.
Eck, 55, and according to his bio, unmarried, sometimes stays the night in the dorms to keep an eye on his players and apparently thwart criminals.
Eck saw a man, 20-year-old suspect Daniel T. Flamma-Sherman, take a bag from his room and he proceeded to chase the suspect out of the dorms. An off-duty firefighter saw the two men running and helped Eck tackle the suspect and hold him until police arrived.
The incident should serve warning not only to potential dorm room burglars but also to any of Eck's players who might be thinking of getting a little mouthy with their coach or even trying to sneak out at night. Eck doesn't seem to be afraid of much. When he pursued the suspect, he had no way of knowing whether he was armed or what type of danger he could be running into.
The suspect was charged with aggravated robbery because the firefighter (not the 55-year-old coach!) received minor injuries during the scuffle.
"It's nice when someone helps police, but we don't want them to be injured. It's a double-edged sword," Hutchinson Police Detective Thad Pickard said. "We can't condone someone chasing someone down and tackling them because they could be seriously injured."
Eck has been with Hutchinson for the past two seasons and in that time the Blue Dragons have a 53-13 record and have made the postseason both years.
The coach is also 1-0 against burglars.