'I Just Reacted': Man Saves Police Officer From Attack

| by Jonathan Constante

A Canadian man is being nominated for a Citizen Award after helping a police officer in the line of duty.

Eugene DeRose was driving home from work on Feb. 17 when he saw an Edmonton police officer being attacked by a much bigger man, CBC News reported.

DeRose immediately took action. He stopped his car in the middle of street, ran over to the man, grabbed him and restrained him until the officer could make the arrest.

“I didn't even think, I just reacted,” DeRose told CBC News. “Because I knew if I didn't do anything at that moment, it would have become a lot worse. I was running on pure adrenaline.”

The officer, Const. Sasa Novakovic, thanked DeRose during a special ceremony at the police headquarters on Feb. 25.

Novakovic said he had approached the suspect and his female companion after watching them jaywalk across a busy intersection. The situation quickly escalated.

“From the onset, the male subject was not co-operative, continually yelling at and walking away from me,” Novakovic said. “Once I attempted to arrest the subject, he became combative, charging at me with his fists. We fought standing, until we ended up on the ground.”

The suspect pinned Novakovic to the ground. The woman fled the scene.

“Once on the pavement, the 280-pound subject ended up on top of me, with most of his weight on my chest,” Novakovic recalled. “With one of my arms pinned, I tried to gain control. But not being able to breathe, my options were getting limited.”

It was at that moment when DeRose sprang into action.

“He jumped out his vehicle and placed the subject in a headlock,” Novakovic said. “He did so without hesitation. It's very important to me that Eugene is recognized for what he did that day.”

Novakovic and DeRose were reunited at the ceremony, where Novakovic sang his praises.

“Every day, police risk their lives for strangers,” Novakovic said. “It's the job we chose. But on Feb. 17, it was a stranger who risked his life for the police. And my family and myself are truly thankful.”

The suspect, 27-year-old Gabriel William Dumont, was arrested and is facing charges of obstructing and assaulting an officer, the Edmonton Sun reported. He was also issued a $250 ticket for jaywalking.

Sources: CBC News, Edmonton Sun / Photo Credit: CBC News, Claire Theobald/Edmonton Sun

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