Video from a security camera showed a Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy struggling with a homeless suspect in front of the Circle K on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 25. The 23-year-old deputy lost his balance and the two fell to the ground, that’s when three good Samaritans rushed to help him subdue the man.
Deputy Eric Ortiz of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Information Bureau said that the deputy, who was in his final days of training, responded to a report of a suspicious person in front of the Circle K at about 3:10 p.m. in the 15000 block of Leffingwell Road near La Mirada Boulevard, according to KTLA.
When the deputy arrived on the scene, the suspect immediately began arguing with him so he called for backup.
The homeless suspect took a swing at the deputy made the argument escalated into a fight. The deputy loses his balance and the two fall to the ground.
“At some point, the suspect took a fighting stance and swung at the deputy, and a fight ensued. While on the ground, the suspect reached for the deputy’s handgun,” Deputy Ortiz said.
As the deputy was fighting to keep the suspect from pulling his duty pistol from its holster, three good Samaritans from three different directions ran to help.
Brian Whitney, 26 years old, was working at the Circle K when the incident happened and went outside to help the deputy.
“I heard the officer yelling, ‘Get your hand off my gun.’ So then I went in and I ripped the dude’s hands off the officer’s gun,” Whitney told KCBS.
The other two good Samaritans, who just happened to be in the parking lot at the time of the scuffle, continued to assist the deputy when Whitney ran back inside the store and called 911.
“With the assistance of the Samaritans, the deputy handcuffed the suspect,” Ortiz said.
Dep. being treated for minor injuries.
Captain Jim Tatreau pic.twitter.com/uFulwJUsdJ
— LASD Norwalk Station (@NorwalkLASD) August 25, 2019
The deputy was treated at a hospital for a minor injury and would take a few days off.
“He was having a hard time with that guy, and without the help of the good Samaritans, I’m concerned about that. We’ve had some very good citizens here in La Mirada, Whittier, and Norwalk. And it just reinforces your belief in being all together,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Captain Jim Tatreau said.
The homeless man’s identity was not available. He was arrested and charged with assault, KCBS reported.