When some Modesto bystanders heard a police officer yell for help as a man was trying to take the officer’s gun, they didn’t hesitate. A woman and two men jumped on the suspect, and the woman (with no self-defense training) grabbed him around the neck and by the shirt and pulled him down.
According to the Modesto Bee, the officer responded to that Star Food and Liquor Store at around 3:15 p.m. on May 26 for a report of a suspicious person attempting to break into a car. When he arrived the first time no one was there. He was dispatched back to the scene about 15 minutes later when the suspect came back.
The officer contacted the suspect, identified as Daniel Steffens, 31, who initially seemed cooperative. That cooperation didn’t last long.
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Video shows the moments leading up to the fight when the officer responded to a possible car break-in near a convenience store Tuesday afternoon. The officer tried to detain the man, identified as 31-year old Daniel Steffens. Steffens complies at first, then begins to resist. When the officer begins to pat Steffens down, that is when police say he attempts to take the officer’s taser and then his gun.
Good Samaritans came from all directions as they heard the officer scream for help. Davis witnessed the aftermath.
“His holster was actually hanging down and he had broken two of the safety restraints that keep someone from taking an officer’s gun,” he explained…
“This girl puts him in a chokehold and that’s what it took to take the guy down and to help that officer. I don’t know if the officer would have gone home to his family that night if that guy would’ve been able to get his gun,” explained Davis.
“This girl” with no self-defense experience or fight training grabbed the suspect by the face, neck, and shirt and pulled him down, as two men took the man’s hands off the officer’s weapon and helped the officer get the situation under control.
Modesto Police spokesperson Sharon Bear told reporters that Steffens very nearly got the gun. He managed to get through some of the safety restraints on the gun and the officer had his hand on the suspect in an attempt to prevent him from taking it during the struggle. But Steffens was trying to get it up until three people jumped on top of him.
Steffens was booked into the Stanislaus county jail on charges of attempted murder, attempted taking a firearm from a police officer and resisting arrest. He is incarcerated on a $1.million bond.
“We are beyond thankful for the help these brave citizens provided to one of our officers yesterday while attempting to take a subject into custody. They no doubt prevented a bad situation from escalating into something tragic and helped get the subject into custody safely. Today these #goodsamaritans (Ross, Robert and Yajaira) were presented with MPD Challenge coins for their exceptional bravery and willingness to step up and help an officer in need!“
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