A situation could have been much worse for a police officer if a Good Samaritan had not have stepped in Texas police officials say, in quite a story that took place last week.
According to police, a felon with a long criminal history has been charged after allegedly taking a Brea, California police officer’s gun and taser, and battering the officer during an arrest attempt in La Habra, California last week, officials said.
Police are now searching for a bystander who intervened and helped the officer subdue the suspect, and may have even saved the officers life.
“We don’t know who the guy is, he left before we could get his name,” Brea police Lt. Chris Harvey told KTLA. “We’d really like to talk to him and recognize him for what he did.”
The man arrested is 31-year-old Gilbert Antonio Villalba, of Los Angeles, who got out and ran away into a Home Depot Parking lot along Harbor Boulevard in La Habra.
The officer tried to pull the driver over, who eventually went to the Home Depot and then bolted.
The officer then grabbed Villalba to prevent him from getting back in his car, and the suspect allegedly kicked the officer, causing the officer to lose his balance.
Villalba allegedly grabbed the officer’s gun, “ripping the holster from its base plate, leaving the holster dangling upside down,” officials explained.
He then allegedly repeatedly grabbed the officer’s gun while trying to rip it from the holster.
Villalba is also accused of telling his girlfriend to grab the officer’s gun, though she refused, officials said.
The good Samaritan, who was wearing a cowboy hat, at one point intervened and helped the officer get Villalba into custody. The dramatic ordeal was caught on the officer’s body camera and other video. Authorities released the footage in hopes of finding the bystander to thank him.
Watch the insane chase and altercation below.
Villalba has been charged with one felony count of attempted firearm removal from a peace officer, one felony count of battery on a peace officer and one felony count of resisting and deterring an executive officer. He faces a maximum sentence of six years and eight months in state prison if convicted on all charges.
“Here in Orange County, we do not tolerate violence of any kind and we support our police officers,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “If you attack a police officer, we are going to throw the book at you.”
Thanks to our friends at KTLA for contributing to this article.