Longview police Sgt. Mike Hallowell said Terry Miracle threw himself into Morgan Perry Bluehorse, who at the time was running through Miracle's neighborhood with police officers in hot pursuit.
It's been 65 years since Miracle strapped on football pads for Puyallup High School but that didn't stop him Friday afternoon when he said he "launched my cross-body block."
Miracle allowed Saturday that he had some sore muscles, but that was offset by his good feelings about helping capture a bad guy, The (Longview) Daily News reported.
Hallowell said the chase started when he saw a "suspicious subject" -- Bluehorse, 27, of Kelso -- coming from behind a home wearing a backpack. Bluehorse started running when he spotted Hallowell and led the officer and his colleagues through yards and over fences with neighbors helping the police by yelling out directions.
The commotion drew Miracle out of his garden to see what was going on. Eventually Bluehorse wound up back at Miracle's place and that is when he, as Hallowell put it, "sprung into action."
"[Bluehorse] came thundering around the house," Miracle said. "He was looking back over his shoulder to see where they were, and he turned around the corner of the house and he was coming at me just like the runners used to do when I played football."
Miracle calculated his angle of attack and decided "I'm gonna get him," the newspaper said.
"I started running towards him, and he stopped as I launched my cross-body block. I had misjudged. I was counting on him continuing to run so I would hit him. When he stopped he got kind of tangled up in his feet. I kicked out my knee, as I always did with a cross-body block, and caught his knee with my knee. He went down and so did I."
Bluehorse resumed running, but Miracle's tackle allowed police to catch up and administer another hit to bring the suspect down.
Bluehorse was booked on suspicion of second-degree burglary, third-degree theft, trespassing, resisting arrest, obstructing an officer, third-degree malicious mischief and methamphetamine possession. There also was a bail warrant out for his arrest from an earlier case.