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Good Samaritan tackles, holds down 'TriMet Barber' until police arrive

Christian Coats -- with his son Shaun -- points to where he saw the suspect run. Coats chased the suspect down and held him until police arrived. (KATU Photo)

The man accused of cutting the hair of random women on TriMet buses, and convicted of similar crimes in the past, was taken into custody with the help of southeast Portland resident Christian Coats.

Coats spotted Jared Walter at a southeast Portland Walmart Wednesday night and immediately recognized him as the man wanted by police.

"I was trying to be friendly with him," said Coats. "Like, 'Hey, how are you doing, do you remember me?'"

Walter was immediately spooked and took off down Southeast Holgate. Coats called 911 and immediately took off after him. After a 20-minute chase through neighborhoods, Coats cornered Walter on the side of a house on Southeast 89th.

"He was hiding behind that chimney right there," said Coats, as KATU spoke to him at the scene. "I knew I had him, and he knew I had him too."

Coats held Walter down for about 20 to 30 seconds before police officers took over. He doesn't regret taking the lead in pursuing Walter.

"He's a sex offender. So I mean, sometimes you just have to take risks like that because that could have been my mom, it could have been one of my kids, so sometimes you just have to act," said Coats.

Walter appeared in court Thursday. Given his criminal history, a judge ordered him not to be released on bail until prosecutors come up with a plan to keep him from committing similar crimes.

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