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Retired NYPD Honored for Stopping Woman Accused of Trying to Burn Down Martin Luther King Jr.’s Childhood Home

Two retired NYPD officers were honored Saturday for helping to catch a woman police say tried to burn down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home.

The house is a federal landmark in Atlanta, and as CBS New York’s Kristie Keleshian reports, those former officers were in the right place at the right time.

Retired NYPD officers, and brothers, Kenny and Axel Dodson happened to be visiting the childhood home of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Friday when tourists alerted them about a woman who was seen pouring a canister of gasoline on the property. She had already run off, and the pair hopped in their car, acting on instinct.

“Right away, my brother looks at me and he goes, ‘What do you think, should we chase her?'” Kenny Dodson said.

“Everything happened so fast. I go to chase her, I was catching up to her, and my loud voice, command presence, and she pretty much knew that she was caught,” Axel Dodson said.

Axel Dodson held 26-year-old Laneisha Shantrice Henderson down until Atlanta police arrived. She was arrested and later charged with attempted arson and interfering with government property.

“Not only did they see something, they did something,” NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Tania Kinsella said.
“Once a cop, always a cop. It’s in your DNA,” NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell said.

Kenny Dodson was last assigned as a transit cop on the Lower East Side. Axel Dodson, an Iraq War veteran and patrol service officer, last served in Queens. They both received outstanding citizens awards Saturday morning from the NYPD.

“It still hasn’t quite hit me yet,” Axel Dodson said. The brothers had just missed each other during their time at the NYPD. When Axel started, Kenny had already retired.

“It was doing it with my brother, that I just, I loved. That I had my brother there, and we was doing this and I was like, ‘I made a collar with my little brother,'” Kenny Dodson said.

Loved ones came to police headquarters to celebrate with the Dodsons. Having witnessed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s activism as a young woman, mom Doris Dodson is undoubtedly proud.

“They were there at the right time and didn’t hesitate to do what needed to be done to save that house,” she said.

The brothers never got to take the picture in front of the historic site like they initially wanted, but left with something far more valuable – helping preserve part of American history.

Police have not released a motive in the attempted arson investigation.

Source: Cbsnews