WHITTIER (CBSLA) — Three good Samaritans rushed to help a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy after a homeless man attempted to take his service weapon.
The incident happened Sunday around 3 p.m. when a 23-year-old deputy responded to a call of a homeless man creating a disturbance and being belligerent at a Circle K in Whittier.
Video from a security camera showed the deputy, who was in his final days of training, struggling with the man when the deputy loses his balance and the two fall to the ground. That’s when three good Samaritans respond to the scene to help the deputy subdue the man.
“I heard the officer yelling, ‘Get your hand off my gun,'” Brian Whitney, one of the Samaritans, said. “So then I went in and I ripped the dude’s hands off the officer’s gun.”
The 26-year-old who was working at the Circle K when the incident happened said he ran out, removed the homeless man’s hand from the deputy’s weapon and ran back into the store to call police. Soon after Whitney ran back into the store, one of the other good Samaritans can be seen sliding the clip away from the deputy and the homeless man.
Those other two good Samaritans just happened to be in the parking lot at the time of the scuffle.
“He was having a hard time with that guy, and without the help of the good Samaritans, I’m concerned about that,” Capt. Jim Tatreau, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, said. “We’ve had some very good citizens here in La Mirada, Whittier and Norwalk. And it just reinforces your belief in being all together.”
And while the homeless man was not armed, the LASD report said he did at one point have his hand on the deputy’s service weapon.
The sheriff’s office said the deputy, who was not seriously injured, would take a few days off.
The homeless man was booked and charged with assault.