The teen, Robert Bradford, is a member of the Covington Police Explorer program for youths interested in police work.
CBS Atlanta reports that the suspect is accused of trying to walk out of the Kroger store in Covington with steaks stuffed down his pants.
Store surveillance video aired by CBS Atlanta shows Bradford rushing toward the man, who authorities say had just punched a female Kroger employee in the face.
The video shows Bradford putting the man in a headlock and forcing him to the ground.
Police say the 42-year-old suspect was charged with shoplifting, public drunkenness and battery.