Jacksonville News Anchor Assists With Arrest

Aug 16, 2013

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is thanking a local television news anchor today for assisting in the arrest of an armed burglary suspect.

"Thank you both for a job well done," was the message posted to the JSO's Facebook page to both JSO Officer Mike Blanton and First Coast News anchor Phil Amato.

First Coast News anchor Phil Amato shakes hands with JSO Officer Mike Blanton following the arrest of a burglary suspect in the bed of Amato's truck, visible in the background.

In a newscast this morning, Amato explained that he was driving home from breakfast in his pick-up truck earlier this week when he spotted the suspect fleeing from the officer on foot.

"The suspect ran out from between two houses and I just happened to be right there," Amato said.

The suspect jumped in the back of Amato's pick-up truck, giving Officer Blanton enough time to catch up and make the arrest.

"He might have thought I was a getaway vehicle or something," Amato said.

The JSO posted photos of the arrest and Amato and Blanton shaking hands and giving a thumbs-up with Amato's truck visible in the background.

Initial reaction to the Facebook status has been mostly in praise of Amato. As of 4:15 p.m. on Friday 220 people had "liked" the post.