Cellphone video captured the moment three Good Samaritans jumped out of their vehicles to help a California Highway Patrol officer who was being attacked by a man on the side of a busy freeway onramp.
The incident occurred on May 19 at around 5 p.m., at the Main Street northbound entrance to the 5 Freeway in Santa Ana.
CHP officers had been called to the area on reports of a man yelling at drivers and trying to take down a freeway sign. Officials said the officer was planning to let the man go with a warning when he suddenly attacked.
“Many of these situations, they end up becoming dangerous at a moment’s notice,” CHP Officer Anselmo Templado told KTLA.
Just steps from the freeway onramp, the officer is seen on video getting tackled by the man.
“Since I see the officer down, I was concerned about the guy grabbing the officer’s gun and shooting the officer,” Navarro told KTLA. “That was my biggest concern and possibly doing the same to me. So, in that moment, I didn’t have any other choice.”
Anselmo said it’s unusual to see people running to help law enforcement and that he’s grateful they helped the officer.
“I think it’s amazing that three Good Samaritans came in and stepped in and helped our officer out,” he said. “It’s not very often that you see something like that. Usually, it’s just people recording and standing by, but I just want to thank those three Good Samaritans for helping out our officer. It could’ve ended very badly, but luckily for them no one was seriously injured, and we got the subject under control.”
As for Navarro, he said he doesn’t feel like a hero.