Villanova student gives ride to police officer in the middle of foot pursuit: 'He helped make a difference'

A Pennsylvania college student was honored for helping a police officer track down a suspect by offering him a ride in the middle of a foot pursuit. 

Villanova senior Phil Sandor was driving to class on Apr. 17 when he saw Radnor Police Officer Kyle Hand chasing after a person who had fled a traffic stop on Lancaster Avenue. 

"I saw this guy running across the street and Officer Hand was chasing after him," Sandor said. "I was like ‘wow!’ I didn't think I just saw that, but I did."

When the fleeing suspect jumped over electrified SEPTA train tracks on the high-speed line, Officer Hand thought the pursuit might be over. That's when Sandor, who was watching the chase from a nearby street, asked Officer Hand if he needed a ride.


"In my head I was thinking ‘there’s a good chance he might need help, because I don't see his car,' so I figured he'd been running a bit," Sandor said. 

With Officer Hand in the passenger's seat, Sandor navigated around the train tracks and helped the 8-year veteran continue the pursuit. 

"I was really surprised," Officer Hand said. "In my eight years of being a police officer that has never happened to me before where a citizens has come out of nowhere and volunteered their services."

Sandor dropped off Officer Hand in a nearby neighborhood where the 27-year-old suspect was found hiding in a backyard and taken into custody. Police later learned that the suspect had warrants in Philadelphia for crimes including assault.

Police were able to track down Sandor days after the pursuit, and properly thank him for his help with a certificate of appreciation. 

"Definitely it felt pretty good, knowing they were able to help get him, and I was able to contribute a little bit," Sandor said.