Authorities in Polk County, Florida, are thankful for three passing motorists who stopped to help a deputy who was beaten by a man during a traffic stop last Sunday morning.
“There are people in this world who have no respect for the law, or for the peacekeepers and those who are sworn to uphold the law,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Grady said that while some of those people live in his own county, there are other residents – like George Cooper, Antonio Velazquez and Christopher Carver – who not only support law enforcement, but are willing to stand up and take action when they see something happening that is not right.
Deputy Mike Walsh, who was patrolling on a motorcycle, pulled over Corey Johnson after Johnson failed to stop at a stop sign and in doing so nearly struck Walsh. After running his lights and siren for some time, Johnson, who has been arrested on at least seven previous occasion and has several warrants at the time, eventually pulled over but continued to ignore Walsh’s demands.
Then suddenly Johnson started throwing punches at Walsh, knocked him to the ground, climbed on top of Walsh and continued assaulting him as he attempted to reach for items – including a service pisotl – on the deputy’s duty belt.
“He just got out of the car and started beating the officer and then got on top of him beating him,” Cooper recalled, adding that if he sees someone fighting with an officer, he is going to stop and help the officer in need.
Walsh was finally able to push Johnson away, who subsequently fled on foot, but by that point, the three good Samaritans realized what was happening and had already came to intervene. Eventually, Walsh, along with the help of Cooper, Velazquez and Carver, were able to subdue Johnson.
In the end, Walsh walked away with multiple injuries, including a broken thumb and several bruises and abrasions. And the three men said they aren’t heroes, but others beg to differ.
“These three men, who do not know each other or Deputy Walsh, probably had better things to do on a Sunday morning than jump out of their cars to help catch a violent fleeing suspect,” Grady explained. “We can never thank them enough for their selfless actions. George Cooper, Antonio Velazquez, and Christopher Carver – you are our heroes.”