Three Good Samaritans rushed to the aid of a Modesto Police Officer after he was tackled to the ground by a car break-in suspect.
The officer confronted the suspect, identified as 31-year-old Daniel Steffens, while responding to a possible car-break near a convenience store on Yosemite Boulevard. When the officer tried to detain Steffens, it looked as if he was about to comply, but quickly resisted during the pat-down.
Police say that is when the suspect attempted to take the officer’s taser and gun, which he was almost able to do if not for a safety mechanism on the gun’s holster.
Sharon Bear, Modesto police spokesperson said of the gun, “He got it partially out of the holster but security measures that the holster has kept it from coming out.”
A scuffle then ensued between the officer and Steffens who wrestled each other to the ground. The frightening scene was captured on surveillance video, and showed that the officer was in extreme danger. Fortunately, three passersby heard the officer shouting for help and rushed to his aid.
“There was an officer and three others. Each person had a limb holding him down,” explained witness Mark Davis. “His holster was actually hanging down and he had broken two of the safety restraints that keep someone from taking an officer’s gun.”
Davis, who runs the Modesto News Facebook page, heard the police dispatch calls for help. When he arrived, he saw the Good Samaritans piled on top of the man. He then took photos of the bloody man police arrested, who is now behind bars.
A woman and two men helped grab the suspect and took his hand away from the officer’s gun, according to police. Davis spoke with one of the people who jumped in to help afterwards.
“This girl puts him in a chokehold and that’s what it took to take the guy down and to help that officer. I don’t know if the officer would have gone home to his family that night if that guy would’ve been able to get his gun,” Davis said.
The police department later showed their appreciation to the those who helped.
“We just want to say ‘Thank you.’ We appreciate you assisting our officer, helping keep him safe and our community. We don’t know what kind of tragedy could have occurred,” Bear said.
According to CBS 13, the officer walked away with a few bruises. Steffens is being held on a $1 million bail, and faces charges of attempted murder, resisting arrest and attempting to take a firearm while resisting arrest.