Last Friday I had someone pull a knife on me. It was really a scary situation. I jumped back. I did nothing to provoke it, I was just standing behind the man at a crosswalk waiting for the light to change and he pulls out a knife and makes a slashing motion at me. As the phone battery was dead so thankfully someone walking just behind me called 911. While on the phone me and the person calling followed from a block back. The police showed up in just a matter of minutes, however in the heat of the moment it felt like forever. I remember commenting about how they were taking forever.
When the first officer showed up I pointed out the individual who was walking against traffic up a one way street (actually a nice tactic to evade them), however the officer just activated his lights and sirens and went against traffic to get to the individual. I watched from two blocks away. He jumped out and I couldn’t make out what happened but all of a sudden he was on the ground fighting with the guy. I watched for a minute from two blocks away and saw no backup, heard no sirens so I ran that direction. By the time I got there a second officer had arrived, however one of the officers taser and radio were thrown 15-20 feet down the sidewalk and the other officer couldn’t reach for his radio.
I asked the officers if they needed any help and at first he said no, and then the officer screamed grab my radio. I grabbed his radio and keyed the mic and held it in front of him so he could call backup. At this point the other officer was using the taser and other pain compliance techniques to no success. As they were rolling around a lot I kicked aside the mans backpack that was laying next to him as well as taser cartridges and other objects as I didn’t want the officers to get hurt and handed the officer his taser and watched for a bit longer. At this point it had been a few minutes and the officer was getting frustrated and the suspect was still fighting off both of the officers and nearly getting up. He keyed his mike screaming something like where are my backup units. I was still hearing no sirens and at this point I was not only worried for my safety if this guy got up, but the officers as well so I got involved. I grabbed the suspects legs while the two officers were at his waist and helped them get him rolled onto his stomach and we held him there until more backup arrived. In about 3 minutes there was at least 7 patrol cars there.
Today the individual was charged with one court of felonious assault with a dangerous weapon on me, a count of felony assaulting a police officer and a count of felony disarming a police officer of his taser. Physically I am fine, very emotionally shaken by the incident however. I’m told the officers have some scraped and small cuts however they are fine as well.
Should I Of Helped?
The officer never complained to me for helping out, they never thanked me either. While I realized the officer didn’t ask for my help The suspect was fending off two officers who were using taser and pain compliance techniques and almost getting up and the officer was screaming where is my backup into his radio. At that point not only was I scared for their safety, but mine as well. I’ve spent time thinking about the situation. I apologize if they are upset about me helping, but I also don’t regret it. I’m not going to stand around and watch two officers fighting for their lives to take a suspect down that pulled a knife on me when there screaming for backup and none is coming. I was scared for them and I called them, but I was also scared for me. What if this guy fought them off and came after me for calling them? To me it seemed like an appropriate thing to do at the time and I still feel it was the appropriate thing to do.