'Good Samaritan' wrestles with carjacker

May 8, 2009 They came to the rescue when they heard someone yelling for help in the store parking lot and saw he was being attacked by a man with a gun.

'Good Samaritan' John Jesko says he was at the store Wednesday when he witnessed a robbery in progress.

"You cannot describe the look that man had. I think he thought he was going to get killed, and I had to help him," said Jesko.

Thomas Holifield, 47, of Michigan City was charged with attempted car carjacking and taken into custody.

Jesko says saw a 74-year-old man run from his van at pump six. He struggled with the offender who was allegedly pointing a gun to his head demanding he hand over the keys to his van.

"The elderly man screamed for help. I look in my truck. Throw it in park." Jesko said. "I just could not ignore it. The cashier also helped by getting the gun from him after I poured coffee on him to distract him."

Jesko, a Michigan City construction worker, says he held the man down until the police arrived. He says he was scared, but it did not stop him from helping someone in distress.

Apparently, when the victim struggled with the offender, the gun went off and wounded the elderly man's arm.

"Oh man, my heart was racing. It happened really quick. When you are looking at that gun, you are thinking, 'I could get shot here.' All I wanted to do was take his mind off that gun," Jesko said.

Michigan City Police say they do not advocate such rescue attempts, but they understand the victim being appreciative.

"It's a very dangerous sitciton. We don't advocate such situations. However, if i was a victim, I would hope that my fellow man would assist," said police Chief Ben Neitzel.

Police recovered a BB gun at the scene.

Jesko was born and raised in Michigan City and is well known by everyone, including the police.

"After it was all done, he could not thank me enough. He was very appreciative," said Jesko. "I would not tell anyone to do what I did…I was just helping out. I do not feel like a hero."

Jesko also says he would do it again as long as he is able to help out.

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