Caught on camera: Good Samaritan arrests man in stolen police car

Posted at 7:04 AM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-08 07:04:01-05

SACRAMENTO, CA (KCRA/CNN) – A California man is facing a driving under the influence charge and a felony charge for theft after he allegedly stole a police car and took it on a joy ride.

Witness Chris Marzan, a former security guard, says he saw a police car driving out of control Saturday night in Sacramento, CA.

When Marzan saw the car make a U-turn, he thought he was going to get pulled over, but instead, he witnessed the patrol car crash into a parking lot.

That’s when he realized the person driving the car was not in uniform.

"I then saw an individual – a male – get out of the vehicle wearing gray sweats, black shirt, and I'm like he is definitely not an officer. He gets back into the patrol car, so I double back," Marzan said.

Marzan says he dialed 911 and proceeded to follow the driver, recording his every move using his new dash cam.

"I said, 'This guy needs to be stopped.' My concern was there was a bunch of pedestrians around and this guy was driving reckless, so I proceeded to follow him,” Marzan said.

When the suspect – later identified as 22-year-old Zachary Samaha – stopped at a market and went inside for a beer, Marzan moved in and made a citizen’s arrest, placing the man in handcuffs.

"I used caution. I was very careful about it because I didn't know if this guy was going to come out with a weapon,” Marzan said.

Samaha complied with orders, but the good Samaritan says he was clearly intoxicated.

"He was like, 'Oh, OK, you got me,' and he was just laughing about the whole thing. So, it was like a big joke to him,” Marzan said.

Sacramento Police say they are investigating the incident and hope to prevent another patrol car from being stolen.

"I don't know why anybody would commit such a crime. We are looking into it right now, and we're looking at our policies and procedures if there are any lessons learned from this event,” Sgt. Vance Chandler said.

Police say the suspect got hold of the patrol car when an officer stepped out to respond to a call for service.

Marzan says he knows he put his life at risk making the arrest, but he has no regrets.

"Since last night, a lot of people have talked to me about it. I don't recommend anyone doing anything that I did. I stand by my decision because I can't live with myself if something happened to someone,” Marzan said.

Officers say they appreciate the Samaritan’s help.

"We do need the help from the community. They’re our eyes and ears out there, so we are appreciative that we got the call and we are very fortunate that nobody was hurt,” Chandler said.

Samaha was booked into jail on charges including DUI and stealing a patrol car.

Copyright 2018 KCRA, Chris Marzan, Sacramento Police via CNN. All rights reserved.