Steven Davis, 49, is accused of stealing 50 pounds of Ensure, a nutritional drink, from a CVS on Manhattan's Upper East Side on Sept. 27. He allegedly swung at a few employees before fleeing the convenience store.
Davis was chased by police officers, and the cops eventually found him nearly lifeless on the ground next to a suitcase containing the allegedly stolen items. NYPD Sgt. James Gebhard told the Daily News he thought Davis had been hit by a car.
“His front teeth were knocked out. It was like someone turned off the switch. He must have fallen face first," Gebhard said.
The sergeant administered CPR on Davis – who had suffered an apparent heart attack – and revived him twice before paramedics arrived on scene, WPIX reported.
Despite the man's medical situation, the sergeant said he "went from life-saving to police work pretty quickly" as he tried to successfully ID Davis as the alleged thief.
Davis was hospitalized and released three days later. When he was fingerprinted at a police precinct after being charged with petit larceny, harassment and attempted assault, he ran into Gebhard, the cop said.
"He shook my hand and thanked me," Gebhard told the News. "It could have gone one of two ways: he'd be upset with me that I arrested him or he'd be really happy with me that I rescued him."
The 49-year-old man was released on bail and says he's giving up crime. His neighbor, however, claimed Davis says that after each time he's been caught.