A mixed martial arts practitioner trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was driving to visit his mother when he stopped to assist a local deputy arrest a wanted man who was resisting and viciously attacked the officer.
Valparaiso, Indiana, resident William Cassoday, a brown belt in the grappling martial art jiu-jitsu, pulled over after witnessing the altercation and used his skills to subdue the man.
“Stuff like that doesn’t bother me,” the 39-year-old said.
At the time of the incident, Cassoday was in his car with his wife in Portage to see his mother. That’s when he noticed the Porter County Sheriff’s deputy conversing with a man on the side of the road, who then attempted to punch the officer.
“As I was passing, I saw the guy swinging at the cop,” said Cassoday.
The attacker, identified later as local resident Christopher Delgado, attempted to fight off the officer and Cassoday, but the martial arts practitioner was able to apply a rear-naked chokehold on the man to subdue him.
The rear-naked choke is a move where one places one’s arm around another’s neck while using their other arm to tighten the hold on the body.
Cassoday said he often trains in MMA at a local YMCA with police officers.
“He just kind of went limp for a moment,” Cassoday explained.
Delgado then slumped to the ground, allowing Officer Jamison Smith to place him in handcuffs.
According to Smith, Delgado was wanted on charges of auto theft. A police report stated that when Smith approached Delgado and told him he could not leave, Delgado challenged him and began throwing punches.
Smith sustained a minor injury near his eye because of one of Delgado’s punches.
Delgado faces a felony account of battery on a law enforcement officer resulting in bodily injury and a misdemeanor for resisting law enforcement.
Corporal Benjamin McFalls said the department “cannot thank Mr. William Cassoday enough for his courageous actions.”
“Putting his own safety aside, he ran into harm’s way, assisting Officer Smith in taking a felon into custody,” McFalls continued.
McFalls praised Cassoday for stopping the violent attack and said that Cassoday exemplifies what it means to be a resident of Porter County by maintaining law and order and serving the community.
While he did not know it at first, Cassoday later discovered that he knew Smith, who was a friend of the family.