Roanoke, VA - A civilian stepped up to help a Vinton police officer who was in a struggle with a suspect over a gun on Saturday night.
The incident occurred about 11 PM Saturday night, when Josh Blake saw police lights and a speeding car try to make a turn onto Campbell Avenue. The car then car crashed and caught on fire.
Blake said that the passenger in the vehicle got out, and sat on the ground. Then the driver also got out and began struggling with a police officer who arrived on scene. He began recording the incident so there would be evidence of what happened, and then decided to help the officer, according to Roanoke.com.
As Blake started toward the officer, he saw the suspect reach for the officer's firearm.
"When he grabbed that cop’s gun, all bets were off. I seen a look in his eyes I’ve never seen in another person," Blake said.
Blake the wrestled the suspect to the ground. He was able to get back up, Blake knocked him down again. Finally, he and the officer were able to hold the suspect down and take him into custody.
Vinton Police Sergeant C.J. Froeschl confirmed Blake's story although he didn't identify him. Police said that a Vinton Police Officer, who was not identified, tried to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation near Walnut Street and Eighth Street. The driver of that vehicle, Vincent Lee Hairston, age 32, refused to stop, and fled, according to KRMG.
The Vinton police officer initiated pursuit, which ended a short distance away when Hairston's car crashed and caught fire. Sergeant Froeschl confirmed that a citizen did stop to help the Vinton police officer, and said that "it was appreciated".
Hairston was listed on the Roanoke Police Department's most wanted list, and had numerous outstanding charges, including a probation violation, three counts of assault and battery, grand larceny, unauthorized use of a vehicle, larceny, and two counts of failure to appear.
In this incident, he was charged with resisting arrest, attempting to elude, and attempt to disarm a law enforcement officer.