Posted Online: Jan. 07, 2010, 6:00 pm

Cordova man recognized for act of bravery

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Sarah Ford, correspondent@qconline.com

Photo: Sarah Ford
Hampton police chief Bob Fuller, right, presents Jared Hutchcraft a Certificate of Recognition for his efforts to foil a robbery at the Blimpie's restaurant. Trustee Jim Garrison and Sgt. Wiley look on.
HAMPTON -- Police chief Bob Fuller said he doesn't encourage such things.

Neither would Blimpie's Restaurant owner Dianne Nichols.

Still, both had nothing but praise for 19-year-old Jaren Hutchcraft, a Blimpie's worker who engaged in a "full-on brawl" with a man who robbed the restaurant Dec. 11.

Hampton officials recognized the efforts at this week's village board meeting, thanking Mr. Hutchraft for confronting the robber at Blimpie's. Chief Fuller presented Mr. Hutchcraft a Certificate of Recognition that acknowledged his "selfless act of bravery in the great personal risk to save the property of his employer."

The incident occurred Dec. 11, as Mr. Hutchcraft, of Cordova, was preparing to close the store. He said a man walked in, purchased a cookie and, while change was being made, grabbed money from the cash drawer.

Mr. Hutchcraft said that when the suspect ran outside, he was right behind him. Mr. Hutchcraft described their parking lot confrontation as "full-on brawl." The man eventually got away but did drop some of the cash on the ground.

Dianne Nichols, owner and manager of the store said she's "very fortunate" to have Mr. Hutchcraft as an employee, noting that "he's always stepping forward" to do the right thing.

"Did it surprise me that he did something? No. Did I want him to do something? No. Am I proud of him? Very much so," remarked Ms. Nichols.

Chief Fuller said, "While we don't encourage this type of action, we appreciate help from the public. It makes our job easier to thwart these types of crimes."

Mr. Hutchcraft has worked part-time at Blimpie's for nearly two years; he is also a full-time student at Black Hawk College, studying construction management. He said he was surprised that the incident occurred. "I didn't think that it would happen in Hampton. I was just angry that he stole from us."