Gwinnett County

Father, son react to moment they jumped into action to save Gwinnett officer

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County family is walking us through the moments they jumped into action to help police stop an armed robbery suspect.

Police say the person had just violently robbed a store before trying to escape to a nearby neighborhood.

He tried to get the Ortiz family to help him, but they realized he was someone they needed to help get behind bars.

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Chaotic moments captured on an officer’s body camera show the moments after a father and son helped disarm the man.

Gwinnett County Police say 38-year-old Derrick Sutton had just beaten a store clerk in a robbery and attacked a police officer when the Ortiz family got involved.

“They saw the male drop a bag that had a lot of money in it. That’s when they realized that was the bad person police was looking for,” Otto Ortiz said.

Otto Ortiz and his son Anderson, speaking through a translator, say they rushed Sutton not knowing he had a gun.


They saw him fighting with an officer in front of their home on July 25 around 3 a.m. off Satellite Boulevard in Duluth.

They say they noticed that the officer lost his radio during a fight with the suspect and couldn’t call for backup.

“As soon as I heard the officer tell them to be careful, that he was armed, my priority was, ‘I need to save the officer and I need to save my son,’” said Otto Ortiz.

Otto Ortiz got the gun away from Sutton and threw it out of his reach. He and his son helped restrain him until backup showed up.

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They were honored during a Gwinnett County Police awards ceremony last week.

Ortiz says he was just doing what anyone else would do to possibly save a life.

“I urge other citizens, and citizens as a whole, to step up and work together,” said Otto Ortiz.

Otto Ortiz says he came to the U.S. from Guatemala and is thankful he was able to raise his family here.

The suspect remains in the Gwinnett County jail facing a long list of charges.