City workers catch burglar escaping from house - FOX 13 News

City workers catch burglar escaping from house

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LARGO (FOX 13) -

Sometimes life leads to the unexpected.

"We were right place right time. Prevented a crime and prevented someone to get hurt," said Michael Gordon.

That is exactly what happened to Michael Kowalke and his boss Michael Gordon Thursday afternoon.

The men who work for the City of Largo’s Solid Waste Division were picking up garbage along Lexington Court when they heard a teenage girl crying out for help.

"We saw this young girl come running out of her garage, screaming hysterical that somebody was trying to get her," Gordon said.

Michael Kowalke followed her into her house. He found a window screen had been removed -- then he saw Matthew Olver.

"I told him to stop, and he took off running. He went over the fence on the side of the house," Kowalke said.

Michael Gordon was outside when he saw Olver jump over a fence.

"Mike Kowalke came out of nowhere and tackled him. He knocked him down and put him in a choke hold," Gordon said.

It wasn't over. Kowalke struggled with Olver, and Gordon saw Olver reach for a knife.

"It was a knife like a hand where you put your fingers into the grip. It was a long curved blade," Gordon said.

Without a second thought, Gordon jumped on Olver and got the knife.

"I applied more pressure from my knee on his chest, and he kept hollering, ‘let me go, let me go, I can't breathe. I told him you aren't going anywhere. You are going to jail," Gordon said.

The police showed up moments later and took him to jail.

"You've got to pay for your crimes," Kowalke said.

It could have ended differently. Michael Gordon wasn't even supposed to be with Kowalke -- he just happened to spot him on his route and stopped to say hi.

"We were actually at the right place at the right time," Kowalke said.

For the pair, it was all in a day’s work.

"Knowing that you actually helped someone, it makes you have a good feeling," Kowalke said.

Olver was charged with armed burglary and two counts of aggravated assault.

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