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2 retired NYPD cops pursue, detain woman who tried to burn down MLK’s house

“You’re police, no matter how long you’ve been gone and I’ve been gone for some time,” Kenneth Dodson said

By Joanna Putman

ATLANTA — Two brothers, who are also retired NYPD officers, worked alongside other bystanders to stop a woman from lighting Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home on fire, the New York Daily News reported.

Brothers Axel and Kenneth Dodson had just arrived at the house when they saw a man and a woman fighting, according to the report. The man, now known to be Zachary Kempf, was trying to prevent the woman, Laneisha Shantrice Henderson, from igniting the gasoline she had just poured on the house.

Kempf called the Dodson brothers for help, at which point Henderson ran away down the street.

“Right away, my brother looks at me and he goes, ‘What do you think? Should we chase her?’” Kenneth told the New York Daily News. “I said, ‘I’m not chasing anybody. I’ll get in the car and [go] after her.”

The brothers pursued Henderson, finding her in an alley. They grabbed Henderson and took her back to the scene, holding her there until Atlanta police arrived to take her into custody.

“You’re police, no matter how long you’ve been gone and I’ve been gone for some time,” Kenneth said. “Your policing kicks in and I wanted to keep my eye on [Axel].”

The motivation for the attempted arson was unclear, according to the report. Henderson was charged with attempted arson and interference with government property.

The brothers were honored with outstanding citizen awards at NYPD headquarters on Dec. 9.

“I’m glad that we were all there,” Axel told the Daily News. “That we were able to come and stop this from happening.”

“When Corporal Tripp asked him why he fled, [the suspect] stated he thought he could get away with it and that it would be fun,” the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said
Deputy Greg McCowan was killed and Deputy Shelby Eggers was shot in the leg; the suspect remains at large
Video shows the chaotic moments leading up to the brawl between officers and several suspects, who were seen kicking at officers and trying to stop them from arresting a man
“I’m glad that I was at the right place at the right time. Like I said, that’s what we’re here to do,” Officer Chad Stevens said. “It’s different every day. It keeps you on your toes”