Tampa, FL - Tampa Police Officer Michael Collins was struggling to take a suspect into custody, and was being punched in the face over and over, when two random citizens stopped to help him.
According to WFLA, the incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon, April 19, on Himes Avenue near Raymond James Stadium.
Ray Freeman is a taxi cab driver, and saw Officer Collins in a struggle with a suspect. The suspect was attacking the officer, and kept punching him over and over. He said that he looked the suspect in the eyes, saw pure evil, and that it terrified him.
He said he knew that if the suspect got the officer's gun that he would have shot everyone. Freeman knew he had to do something or that officer wouldn't make it home to see his kids. So the cabbie jumped in the middle of the fight to help the officer.
He wasn't alone. A second citizen, Dolores Lyle, who is a medical supplies rep, was in the area to make a delivery. She was driving by, saw what was happening, and jumped in the middle of the fight to help. She said that she isn't afraid of anybody or anything.
The suspect, Luis Manual Vila, age 18, had been accused of stealing the master key from the Econo Lodge from down the street. Officer Collins had tried to stop Vila to ask him some questions about the missing key, and then the fight was on.
Neither Ray Freeman or Dolores Lyle knew each other, or knew Officer Collins, who is a 27-year veteran of his department.
Thank you Ray Freeman, and Dolores Lyle, for caring, and for stopping to help Officer Collins. I wish the world had more people like you in it.
Would you be ready to help an officer in need? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.