The sign at the corner of Franklin and Front Street is pictured on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Juneau Empire File)

The sign at the corner of Franklin and Front Street is pictured on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Juneau Empire File)

Passerby halts assault with ‘bear hug’

Thomas May now in custody after hitting another man downtown

Multiple passersby intervened Tuesday evening during a downtown assault, police say, and one got up close and personal with the accused attacker.

At about 5:19 p.m. Tuesday, the Juneau Police Department got multiple calls about a man with a knife hitting another man repeatedly, according to a JPD press release. Witnesses told police that a 51-year-old man and 44-year-old woman were walking near the clock at the corner of Franklin and Front streets at the time when a man, identified as 39-year-old Thomas J. May, began yelling at them.

[Man arrested for threatening, robbing pedestrians with gun]

May, a Juneau resident, then began punching the 51-year-old man, police say. Several people intervened, and a 37-year-old Juneau man jumped in and put May in a “bear hug,” as the police describe it in the release. The man released May quickly, concerned because May had a knife on him, the release states.

After the 37-year-old man subdued him, May fled the scene. The 51-year-old man and his companion both knew May, and were able to identify him to police.

Officers found May in a matter of minutes, arrested him for third-degree assault and took him to Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

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