A black woman leaped into the middle of a fight to protect a Baton Rouge police officer from an attack Sunday morning.
Vickie Williams-Tillman was headed to Walmart when she saw 28 year-old Thomas Bennett hitting an officer with his baton, reports KSDK.
“I could see in his eyes he needed help,” said Williams-Tillman. “You don’t have time to think about it … I did what God needed me to do.”
The officer came across Bennett sleeping in his car and saw drug paraphernalia. Bennett got out of the car at the officer’s request, but quickly became hostile, according to Baton Rouge police spokesperson Sgt. L’Jean McKneely.
Bennett took the baton from the police officer and proceeded to beat him with it. At that point, Williams-Tillman decided to step in. She jumped on Bennett’s back to try and hold him off after calling the police.
“It was something that went through my soul. You don’t think about the risk,” she said.
McKneely said the incident might have been worse if Williams-Tillman hadn’t stepped in. Bennett had previously tried to take the officer’s gun from him.
“She made a big difference,” McKneely said. Officers finally restrained Bennett; all three were taken to the hospital to treat minor injuries.
Baton Rouge’s mayor called Williams-Tillman a hero for trying to save the police officer.
“Vickie Williams-Tillman epitomizes the true Good Samaritan. 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,” Mayor President Sharon Weston-Broome said in a statement.
Officers booked Bennett in Parish Prison for resisting a police officer, having cocaine and drug paraphernalia and aggravated battery, among other charges.
Williams-Tillman said she spoke with the officer and gave him a hug after they were both treated. He told her a lot of drivers had driven by and not stopped to help him.
“A lot of people passed him up,” Williams-Tillman said, but that’s not fair to police officers. “They’re human beings, just like us … We’re all one family.”