In a world where people are more apt to film a crisis than step in to stop it, seeing bystanders take action has become a newsworthy breath of fresh air.
Such was the case in the Utah city of Provo on Tuesday, when two bystanders sprung into action to help an officer after he was attacked by a suspect.
When Provo Police Officer Austin Williams was dispatched to a local Sam’s Club to conduct a welfare check on a disoriented man asking customers for water, what is often a routine and uneventful practice quickly escalated.
“He kind of looked at me and waved me off,” Officer WIlliams said. “I said, ‘Do you need some water?’”
It was then that the man -identified as Emiliano Medina- pointed at Williams’ service pistol and then back at his head, implying he wished to commit “suicide by cop.” In a matter of seconds, the man stepped forward and reached for the officer’s sidearm.
“Being a dad, the first thing out of my mouth was ‘Don’t touch that,’” Williams told Fox13.
Caught off-guard by the action, Williams soon found himself locked in a close-quarters struggle with Medina, who used his unrestrained arm to punch Williams in the head. Attempting to bring Medina down, Williams soon found the disturbed man pulling away from his grasp.
No the beginning of a foot chase, Williams was relieved to find help in the form of two men, who ran to intercept Medina.
“Right as [one person is] catching up to the guy, another guy comes around and kind of gets in his way…shoulder checks him, and stops him,” Williams said.
Williams was impressed by the shoulder-check, describing it as something from the “NFL hardest hits” reel.
Williams was lucky to have citizen allies that day- despite putting in a call for assistance, the call never actually transmitted.
According to FOX13, Medina reportedly begged to be killed on his way at the hospital and had no recollection of the incident. Upon arrival to the hospital, he was found to have methamphetamines in his system and is now facing several charges, including assaulting an officer.
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