What was supposed to be a quiet weekend for two Marines taking a break from Camp LeJeune in North Carolina turned into a dangerous dance with a man wanted in three counties for auto theft and, ultimately, a pat on the back from local law enforcement officials.

No surprise, the leathernecks took on the fugitive themselves, which must’ve have frightened the suspected criminal something awful, because he scampered off into a wooded area — and certain capture — just to get away from the service members and their wrath.

This from the Johnson City Press:

The Marines, Michael Webb and Jacob Hawkins, told Investigator Harmon Duncan of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department that they interrupted the man while he was exiting their vehicle while it was parked on Old Lewis Road on Sept. 17.

Duncan said the Marines told him the man “took a couple of swings at us while holding a knife he took from the center console of my car.”

Webb said words were exchanged. The man then dropped the knife and fled into the surrounding woods. The Marines said the man was attacking them in order to escape. They did not pursue the man in the darkness.

Kevin Darrell Fitts, 46, 159 Boton Road, Greeneville, was later arrested and charged in Carter County with one count of aggravated assault, one count of reckless endangerment, nine counts of burglary, eight counts of auto burglary, two counts of theft of property and five counts of identity theft.

It isn’t the first time an active-duty service member (or veteran) went out of their way to help police protect Americans and facilitate justice, and it sure won’t be the last.