A violent thug was getting the best of a California Highway Patrol officer until a trio of good Samaritans rushed to the cop’s aid and their timely intervention may have saved him from serious harm.
The incident went down in Santa Ana on May 19 around 5:00 p.m. near an on-ramp to Interstate 5 (I-5) when the CHP officer, who had been dispatched to the scene after reports of a man yelling at passing motorists and attempting to remove a sign, gave him a verbal warning.
When another officer who had responded to the scene departed, the individual who has been identified as 34-year-old Jaime Balderas Paniagua of Santa Ana savagely attacked the remaining CHP officer.
Fortunately for the officer, 42-year-old Everado Navarro saw the struggle and, along with two other bystanders, ran to the scene and subdued the assailant, allowing him to slap the handcuffs on and make an arrest.
The incident was captured on cellphone video and has since gone viral.
Good Samaritans fight off irate man attacking highway patrol cop
Bystanders quickly spring into action to help motorcycle cop in Santa Ana, California pic.twitter.com/O3CYEzU5bb
— Mr.Video (@hghghghg123) May 28, 2023
Navarro, who was in a vehicle with a passenger driving to an event in Santa Ana realized that the situation could end badly for the officer and was one of the men who reacted by going after the attacker.
“Since I see the officer down, I was concerned about the guy grabbing the officer’s gun and shooting the officer,” Navarro told Los Angeles news outlet KTLA. “That was my biggest concern and possibly doing the same to me. So, in that moment, I didn’t have any other choice.”
Navarro told the Los Angeles Times that Paniagua’s “forearm was pressed down on the officer’s throat, and Navarro could see that the officer was able to move only his legs,” and that he threw a punch at the assailant’s ribs.
“My feeling was that he didn’t even feel it,” Navarro said. “He had no intention to stop.”
The men were able to pull Paniagua off of the officer who didn’t seem to be injured.
“The first few words that he said to us were just, ‘Thank you. Thank you, guys,'” Navarro said of the CHP officer.
“Many of these situations, they end up becoming dangerous at a moment’s notice,” California Highway Patrol Officer Anselmo Templado told KTLA of such incidents.
“I think it’s amazing that three Good Samaritans came in and stepped in and helped our officer out,” he added. “It’s not very often that you see something like that. Usually, it’s just people recording and standing by, but I just want to thank those three Good Samaritans for helping out our officer. It could’ve ended very badly, but luckily for them no one was seriously injured, and we got the subject under control.”
“Paniagua was booked into the Orange County Jail on multiple charges, including assault and battery on a peace officer and resisting arrest, according to the CHP,” the LA Times reported. “The Orange County district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comments about the charges.”
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