A Louisiana woman is being hailed a hero after she helped fight off an attack on a police officer by jumping on the assailant’s back, authorities say.
Vickie Williams-Tillman, 56, was in her car early Sunday morning when she saw a man violently beating an officer during a traffic stop, according to Baton Rouge police.
Suspect Thomas Bennett, 28, allegedly managed to seize the officer’s baton and beat him over the head with it, police said.
Without hesitating, Williams-Tillman sprung into action, police say ― first by calling 911 for backup and then by physically helping fight off the man.
“I could see in his eyes he needed help,” she later told The Advocate of the officer, who has not been publicly identified. “You don’t have time to think about it... I did what God needed me to do.”
The Baton Rouge police department recognized Williams-Tillman in a Facebook post Sunday evening “for going above and beyond in that moment to help our officer and possibly save his life.”
The post included a photo of Williams-Tillman and another woman, whom police identified to The Huffington Post as Trenisha Jackson. Jackson’s late husband, Baton Rouge Officer Montrell Jackson, was one of three officers killed in an ambush-style attack last summer.
“When [Jackson] heard about the incident she went to check on the other officer,” police Sgt. Don Coppola said.
Bennett, who police say was found passed out in a car with drug paraphernalia around him, was booked on multiple charges including aggravated battery, disarming of a peace officer, battery of a police officer and drug possession, jail records show.
All three people were taken to a local hospital, though Coppola said no one’s injuries were life-threatening.