A civilian risked his life to save a man who was being attacked by a crazy wielding a knife in Salt Lake City last week. The fact that he has a permit to conceal & carry certainly didn’t hurt.
The civilian is a retired police officer and felt compelled to get involved.
The civilian, who asked to be identified only as ‘Nick’ said, “I was just driving in my car on North Temple, (when) I saw a guy pull a knife on another guy, a fight ensued, the guy with the knife was swinging it several times at the unarmed person,” said Nick.
Nick’s training and his heart responded. He went into action and moved in to stop the altercation and pull his gun on the suspect.
“I see somebody in need of help it’s just the right thing to do, the wrong thing to do would of been to turn my back and have somebody be stabbed because I didn’t do anything.” Nick. “I told him to lay down on the ground and he stayed there,” Nick said. Without getting further involved, Nick used his common sense and a little patience, called 911 and gave his location and a brief detail of what had happened.
Witnesses had no idea was what happening. They began demanding that Nick put down the gun. A witness videotaped most of the incident.
“He’s not going to do nothing put the gun down, he’s not going to do nothing, put the gun down,” said one witness in the video. While Nick called 911, the witnesses continued urging him to lower the weapon.
“At this point an accident could happen, he’s on the floor, there’s a bunch of us out here, there’s no need for you to be pointing a gun to a man’s back whose face is on the floor,” said another witness in the video.
Nick admitted he was a little worried things could escalate out of control and the witnesses may try to approach him.
“It could have turned out ugly if I didn’t have experience or I didn’t have the training,” said Nick.
Nick said he was most surprised about what the witnesses didn’t do. “Nobody called 911, nobody reported it, they are all worried about getting video so they could be famous or whatever they are,” said Nick.
At one point the suspect pleaded for his life. “Don’t shoot me,” the suspect is heard saying in the video. “I’m not gonna,” Nick is heard saying in response.
“You are too, get that gun off me,” said the obviously worried and nervous suspect.
Nick had the gun on the suspect for about two minutes before police arrived on scene and handcuffed the man.
Salt Lake City Police recommend civilians don’t get involved in these altercations and instead focus on being a good witness and call police. “Sometimes people get involved and sometimes we catch people because they get involved but we never suggest that because we don’t like to see people get hurt,” said spokeswoman Robin Heiden with Salt Lake City Police.
However, Nick said if it happened again, he’d do the same thing. “I see somebody in need of help it’s just the right thing to do, the wrong thing to do would of been to turn my back and have somebody be stabbed because I didn’t do anything,” said Nick.
Police later found out the cause of this altercation. The man with the knife had his bicycle stolen and he was attempting to get it back from the alleged thief. Both of those men were questioned by police, but neither of them decided to press charges against each other.
We need a few more St. Nicks out there. Especially if they are willing to arm themselves and intervene for the innocent.
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