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Man comes to aid of missing police officer whose radio goes down in middle of chase

Image credit: Winchester PD Facebook page/Winchester Star
Image credit: Winchester PD Facebook page/Winchester Star

A man in Winchester, Virginia goes out of his way to help a police officer whose radio started malfunctioning in the middle of a dangerous chase in pursuit of a suspect.

That chase began about 11pm on August 23, when Cpl. Richard Lewis of the Winchester Police Department, was on duty.

When the car Lewis was chasing eventually crashed on the city’s north end, the pursuit continued on foot. At about the same time, Lewis says he realized his radio was malfunctioning.

“I was calling it out on the radio, the radio wasn’t hearing what happened,” Lewis said.

Meantime, Shaun Martin was going in search of the missing officer after he heard what was happening over the mobile police scanner he had in his home. Living downtown, Martin said he was familiar enough with the area to figure out where Lewis was.

“I heard the call, and I knew where he was, and I’m always eager to help, so I was off,” Martin said. He made a call to police to let them know where Lewis was so they could send backup, according to the Winchester Star.

Lewis admits he felt a little “on edge” when Martin pulled up in his car—being alone and disconnected from his fellow officers. “I didn’t know how to take him as he came up,” Lewis said.

But Martin’s good intentions soon became clear, he said.

After getting home several hours late, Lewis told his wife about what happened. He had little to describe the “angel” who helped him, except that he was a black man, possibly in his 30s, the Star reported. Through social media, they eventually found Martin.

When the men and their wives all met for the first time Lewis told Martin: “I’ve never, in 14 years of being a cop, never had somebody help me out like that….I’m thankful.”

“The fact that Shaun is black and Officer Lewis is white; a lot of people will focus on that,” Casi Martin said.

“I don’t see color when I talk to people,” Lewis said. “To me that’s just another human.”

Martin said he always wanted to be a police officer, and keeps the scanner in his home to “keep tabs on what is happening in his community.” The 30-year-old longtime Winchester resident said he’s had run-ins with the law, and actually interacted with Lewis prior to their meeting after the recent incident.

Casi Martin said she is so proud of what her husband did and added, “It’s like policing is in his DNA.”

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