A Polk County, Florida deputy that was attacked during a routine traffic stop was rescued by three bystanders on Sunday morning.
Fox 13 News reported that Deputy Walsh stopped Corey Johnson after he ran a stop sign and almost ran the deputy over.
George Cooper, who was on his way to breakfast, witnessed the incident as it occurred. “I saw a motorcycle officer pull over a guy,” recalled Cooper. “The guy slammed the door out on the deputy and then jumped at him and just started wailing and hitting him across the head and just beating him.”
Despite suffering from a torn ACL, Cooper quickly ran to help the deputy. “I wasn’t thinking about my safety. I was thinking about helping him. The boy was all over him, straddling him, beating him, he snatched his radio and took it,” continued Cooper.
Cooper added that Johnson was reaching for the deputy’s gun belt, but he was able to pull him off the officer before he got his hand on the gun. Once he got Johnson away from the deputy, Johnson took off running.
“I wasn’t going to let him beat that officer. Because hey, he is a man just like I am. He has children; he has a wife and a family. I want him to go home to his family like I go home to my family,” said Cooper.
Antonio Velazquez and another person also stopped to help when they saw what was going on. “I just knew I had to help him because he was in trouble already,” said Velazquez.
Velazquez was able to catch up to Johnson after he took off running. “I kicked him, and he fell and when I tried to grab him I fell down with him,” said Velazquez.
The three men worked together to hold Johnson down until other deputies arrived at the scene and arrested Johnson. All three men said it was a moment that they will never forget, but will repeat in a heartbeat.
“It doesn’t matter what your color is, your race, or your creed. He is a police officer. He is supposed to help us. That is just their job,” said Cooper.
Johnson, who has been arrested seven times in the past, is facing several new charges, including aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, and driving while license suspended or revoked.
Deputy Walsh had several cuts and bruises as well as a broken thumb, but he is expected to make a full recovery.