Just days after a Florida man was hailed as a hero for saving a police officer’s life from a vicious attack, a Louisiana woman has found herself in a very similar situation.
As WBRZ reports, the incident took place in the parking lot of a Baton Rouge church Sunday morning when an officer — who hasn’t yet officially been named — found 28-year-old Thomas Bennett asleep inside a parked vehicle with syringes and cocaine.
Moving to place Bennett under arrest, things quickly turned violent when the suspect was able to grab the officer’s baton, and repeatedly strike him in the head with it.Thomas Bennett. Image Credit: Screenshot/WBRZ
As Bennett tried to get his hands on the officer’s firearm, one passerby — listening to gospel music while on her way to Walmart — noticed the struggle and took action.
Though she couldn’t have known the specifics, 56-year-old Vickie Williams-Tillman says it took just one look at the officer to understand the severity of the situation:
“I could see in his eyes he needed help.
You don’t have time to think about it…I did what God needed me to do.”
Williams-Tillman quickly phoned the police to send backup to the embattled officer, then got out of her car and rushed Bennett, leaping on his back.
She was then able to keep Bennett away from the injured officer until backup could arrive — earning a lifelong admirer in the process:
— Taylor Evans (@taylorevansnews) February 20, 2017
After the responding law enforcement officers tasered Bennett into submission, all three were taken to the hospital for minor injuries.
Bennett — who has been charged with aggravated battery, disarming a police officer, battery on a police officer, resisting an officer with violence, possession of cocaine, and possession of drug paraphernalia — was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison as soon as he was treated.
Both the officer and Williams-Tillman, who injured her wrist, were released shortly afterwards, as well.
On Sunday, the Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) offered its own salute to this “very special lady”:
For a special #BRPDSalutes today we want to thank a very special lady. Early this morning one of our officers…
As the BRPD wrote, in part:
For going above and beyond in that moment to help our officer and possibly save his life we are forever grateful to you Ms. Vickie!
For showing so much love and concern for one of our officers BRPD Salutes you!
The officer later noted that, while he was being attacked, he saw plenty of motorists simply drive by and ignore the situation.
As if any more proof was needed, Williams-Tillman’s response made it clear that she is cut from a different cloth — saying of police:
“They’re human beings, just like us…We’re all one family.”
The mayor of Baton Rouge has since called the Good Samaritan a “hero,” one who “demonstrates the true meaning of loving God and loving your neighbor.”