SCMPD to recognize couple for assisting in rape suspect arrest - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

SCMPD to recognize couple for assisting in rape suspect arrest


Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Chief Julie Tolbert will recognize a Savannah couple for bravely and unselfishly helping officers apprehend a wanted rape and assault suspect.

Anthony and Tammie Wiruth spotted rape suspect Alfred Colquitt, 47, outside their business at 31 W. Congress Street just before 6 p.m. on Thursday. They called 911 and started following Colquitt.

Sgt. Mark Gallipeau, working overtime for the SCMPD's Downtown Residents Entertainment District Tourism Engagement and Response unit or DETER, was in the area and responded to the call. He spotted Colquitt crossing Drayton Street and attempted to question him.

The Wiruths were still pursuing Colquitt and he took off again towards the Lucas Theater. A tourist from Akron, Ohio actually grabbed Colquitt and held him down until Sgt. Gallipeau could arrest him.

"Down here, a lot of us business owners, we basically need the tourists," the Wiruths said. "We have young women that walk around, we have elderly women that walk around. Trying to make it safer for the downtown area because the police department do a great, phenomenal job down here, but you know if U.S. Citizens can step in at any point in time to help out, it's what we all need to do, you know, to make our streets safer."

"While I never encourage our citizens to put themselves at risk, we are truly grateful that the Wiruths were willing to step up and assist in the apprehension of this wanted individual. Their vigilance and determination has helped make this community a safer place," said Chief Tolbert. "I also commend the efforts of our DETER unit. These officers are giving up time with their families to help patrol the downtown area and as you can see they are making a positive impact," she added.

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