One Baton Rouge resident is being hailed as a hero who "demonstrates the true meaning of loving God and loving your neighbor" after stopping a man from beating a police officer over the weekend.
Vickie Williams-Tillman was on her way to Sam's Club and Walmart early Sunday morning when she saw the altercation between the officer and 28-year-old Thomas Bennett, a man the officer approached around 8 a.m. after seeing drug paraphernalia inside his car, according to The Advocate.
Bennett soon became aggressive and attacked the unnamed police officer, and even attempted to steal his firearm, Baton Rouge Police spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely said.
"I could see in his eyes he needed help," Williams-Tillman, 56, said of the officer. "You don't have time to think about it … I did what God needed me to do."
Shortly after the good Samaritan jumped on Bennett's back to pull him off the 44-year-old officer, law enforcement backup arrived and the suspect was apprehended after being shot with a stun gun.
Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston-Broome said Williams-Tillman was a courageous hero.
"Vickie Williams-Tillman epitomizes the true Good Samaritan," Weston-Broom said. "She reached out and offered a courageous and unconditional response to the officer. Ms. Williams-Tillman is a hero and demonstrates the true meaning of loving God and loving your neighbor."
Williams-Tillman said there was no doubt in her mind that she needed to help the struggling cop. She described it as "something that went through my soul," adding, "You don't think about the risk."
Bennett was arrested on charges of aggravated battery, disarming a police officer, battery on a police officer, resisting an officer with violence and possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The officer sustained a few wounds to his head and Williams-Tillman injured her wrist. After being treated, The Advocate reported, Williams-Tillman and the police officer shared a hug at the hospital.
"A lot of people passed him up," Williams-Tillman said of when she saw the officer in need. "They're human beings, just like us … We're all one family."
One other Baton Rouge officer shared a photo of Williams-Tillman (right), thanking her for her heroic act of kindness.
This incident follows a deadly attack on police officers in July of last year. In an ambush-style assault, a Missouri man fatally shot three police officers and wounded three others.
It is unclear at this point if Bennett's attack was sparked by an anti-police sentiment.