Two bystanders saved a Midland, Texas, police officer’s life while he was stuck in a skirmish with a suspect who allegedly tried to take his gun.
Alex Salinas told KOSA that his family was driving past a parking lot when they saw a fight break out between the officer and the suspect.
As soon as Salinas realized what was happening, he intervened. He said the attacker was attempting to gouge out the officer’s eye and put a hand on the officer’s holstered gun.
“I went for his arm, his hands, to try to take it away from him,” Salinas said. “He had it gripped so I thought just do what you can. That’s all I was thinking, do what I can.”
Salinas pulled the alleged attacker’s hands away from the gun while another woman tackled the suspect at the legs.
“I squeezed it and when I squeezed it, he let go of the officer’s eye,” Salinas said. “He yelled ‘Agh! My eye!’ Like, he had him pretty bad.”
The combined effort overpowered the alleged attacker, and the officer was able to arrest him.
The Midland Police Department awarded Salinas with a commemorative coin for his bravery in the situation.
The coin’s message reads, “Am I doing the right thing at the right time, the right way and for the right reason?”
Salinas said that if he and the other bystander did not intervene, that officer could have been killed.
“For the Midland Police Department to come and give my family this,” Salinas said, looking at the coin. “It’s something I did. It’s something good I did. I’m proud of it.”
Salinas and his family say they plan to display that coin in their house as a reminder to always help people no matter what the situation.
Bystanders have come to the rescue when officers have been in trouble before. In May 2019, a bystander helped save a knife-wielding man struggling with a police officer, and in December 2017, a homeless man helped an officer take down a suspect.