Columbia, South Carolina, police have honored a homeless man with a certificate attesting to his “extraordinary actions to preserve life and public safety” after he courageously helped an officer subdue a non-compliant suspect on Tuesday. The hero also received two $50 Walmart gift cards in the ceremony.
In the incident, Officer Ashley Hardesty responded to a gas station/convenience store on a 911 call involving a man who allegedly punched a female store clerk and threatened another person with a knife, Columbia PD detailed. The officer encountered the suspect in the parking lot, where he allegedly resisted arrest, disregarding her repeated commands to get on the on the ground. She deployed a Taser device and unleashed pepper spray, Officer.com noted, but the suspect still refused to surrender, and then wound up in a wrestling match with the man after she was pushed to the ground.
That’s when Good Samaritan Cray Turmon, who is homeless, sprang into action and came to the assistance of the officer by tackling the suspect, thereby enabling her to handcuff the suspect pursuant to an arrest.
Turmon said that he acted on instinct, noting it “was going to get ugly” and that “something had to be done,” Fox News explained. Turmon also suggested that intervention might have prevented both the officer and suspect from getting seriously injured, perhaps fatally. Fortunately, no one in the confrontation suffered any serious harm.
According to WLTX in Columbia, Turmon acknowledged that his past includes being on the other side of the law.
“Former DUI arrests made him lose his license, job and his home. Now he’s with Transitions, working to get his life back on track. He says he was more than willing to help the officer.”
Transitions is a highly regarded homeless shelter in Columbia.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the benefit of Cray Turmon in recognition of his bravery in Tuesday’s incident, and as of this writing, it has raised $4,000-plus, well beyond the goal of $1,000.
Authorities charged the suspect, 39, with attempted murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and resisting arrest. He was booked into the Richland County jail, the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, in Columbia.
Check out the cell phone video of the encounter below.
Parenthetically, the Richland County Sheriff’s department is one of the law enforcement agencies regularly featured on the A&E network’s hit reality show LivePD.