I TEAM: Exclusive video of citizen crimefighter stopping inmate escape

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CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM has obtained exclusive police video showing how a construction worker tackled a man who had escaped from police even while handcuffed.

The citizen crime fighter had been a mystery man until the I TEAM tracked him down.

The incident happened in December and the video was just released to the I TEAM.

Cleveland Police took a jail inmate to MetroHealth Medical Center to be checked out for a hand injury. Police body camera video shows Laroscoe Elliott get out of the patrol car, then take off running.

The foot chase goes on for about three minutes through a parking garage, down the block, through a parking lot, and finally, into a construction zone.

Project manager Gennaro Niro of Donley’s Construction said, “He was trying to get into one of our trucks. He was telling the guys, ‘Let's go! Let's get moving!' and the truck drivers looked at him like, 'Well no, I don't think so.’”

When Elliott went around another truck, he suddenly found himself tackled to the ground by a civilian. A truck driver ended the chase. A police report simply credits “an unknown construction worker,” but the I TEAM found him. His name is Joe Spellman. By phone he told us, "He ran around my truck. Climbed up on my passenger's side. And I wasn't having it." He added, "The truck and that job is my livelihood, and that's how I make a living. And I wasn't gonna let anybody affect it that day."

Records show even after all that, Laroscoe Elliott caused more trouble in the ER. Police say, in the ER, he spit at them and kicked one officer in the chest and face with both feet. Police say Elliott admitted he's a gang member and threatened to “kill us all."

Elliott is now facing felony charges for what happened at the hospital. He also has other unrelated charges pending. And, we found he has a long criminal record.

Nonetheless, Joe Spellman would do the same thing again. He said, "You don't usually see someone running around in handcuffs."

Court records show Elliott has been sent to the Court Psych Clinic for a mental health evaluation.

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