Man Recognized For Grocery Store Heroics
By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6
TULSA, OK - Tulsa Police honor a citizen hero. Tulsa's Chief of Police gave the department's Citizen Appreciation Award to Craig Stutzman on Wednesday. Stutzman's the man who wrestled a robber to the ground in a grocery store after the robber shot at another customer.
The surveillance video from inside the Food Pyramid at 51st and Memorial is astounding to watch, no matter how many times you see it.
The robber is too afraid to show his face, but brave enough to point a gun at unsuspecting shoppers and herd them through the store. When one customer is too slow, the robber shoots at him. That shot changed everything.
When Craig Stutzman saw the gun jam, he sprang into action.
The resulting fight goes all through the store, to the entry way and outside the doors. Despite being pistol whipped, Craig refused to give up and finally captured and held 38-year-old Tony Cleveland, a violent ex-con, until police officers arrived.
"When officers got there, he was bleeding profusely from the head and continued to help officers get the robber into custody, long after most citizens would've stopped. And I'll add to that, most would've given up long before that, even to engaging the suspect," said Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer.
Craig Stutzman is an ordinary man who did something extraordinary when the moment presented itself. He works at American Airlines, so received some awards from them, too.
Craig is still not comfortable with all the attention and tries to laugh off his courageous act.
"After the fact, I wondered why I did it. It was just a trigger at the time, saw an opportunity and took it. Running to the back of the store might have been an opportunity also, and maybe as safe, if not safer," said Craig Stutzman.
When Craig was asked what he thinks about being called a hero, he said, "Let's save that for someone who does something really great."