Fort Hood soldier stops purse thief in San Antonio

Jillian Angeline reports.

Not all heroes wear capes.

In the case of one woman, her hero came in the form of a Fort Hood soldier. 

Tyler Eckblad, a private first class in the Third Cavalry Regiment on Fort Hood, was headed to his grandfather's funeral in May when he witnessed a purse thief on the run. Eckblad said if he watched it happen and did nothing about the incident, it would have eaten him up inside.

So, Eckblad took matters into his own hands and pursued the suspect in his car. The pursuit ended in a foot chase. 

When the suspect noticed Eckblad chasing after him, he dumped the purse and all of its contents in the trash. 

Eckblad collected all of the woman's possessions and returned them to her, where he received a warm reception from her. 

"I got out and I was in my dress blues at the time," Eckblad said. "She saw and all that. She ran up to me and gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. She thanked me many, many times and she was also a Navy veteran as well so that was pretty cool."

The suspect was later apprehended. 

Eckblad's commander, Capt. Brian Yoder of Third Cavalry Regiment, found out what his private first class had done later that day and is proud of Eckblad.

"I'm happy about it because again we tell the soldiers never to be bystanders, whether it be in a bar or a situation like this and his first instinct was to react, and react in a positive way," Yoder said. 

Pfc. Eckblad is not a stranger to fighting crimes. Before enlisting in the U.S. Army, he worked in mall security. His life-long dream, however, is to be a state trooper someday. 

"Since I was little, I've always wanted to be a police officer, and I've kind of looked at a sheriff, a local cop and state troopers," Eckblad said. "And something about a state trooper just kind of stuck out with their hats and patrol the whole highways."

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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