A Louisiana grandmother may very well have saved a police officer’s life after she jumped on a suspect while he reached for the officer’s gun (video below).
Vickie Williams-Tillman, 56, was on her way to the store to buy essentials for a Sunday meal when she noticed an officer and a suspect arguing with each other on the sidewalk, People reported.
Williams-Tillman stopped her vehicle and saw the suspect attack the officer.
“They began tussling on the other side of the car,” Williams-Tillman told People. “It didn’t look good.”
Williams-Tillman, who is a mother-of-three and grandmother-of-four, called 911.
“But that wasn’t enough,” she said. “I thought, ‘They’re not going to make it in time.’ There was just a small amount of time before something could have happened.”
The officer was identified as 44-year-old Billy Aime. Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman Sergeant L’Jean McKneely said Aime found drugs in 28-year-old Thomas Bennett’s vehicle during a traffic stop. He said Bennett became aggressive after Aime attempted to handcuff him.
Bennett allegedly grabbed Aime’s baton and struck him repeatedly over the head, McKneely said. Williams-Tillman intervened shortly after.
“I put the window down and I asked, ‘You got it?'” Williams-Tillman recalled, adding that the officer mouthed the word “no.” “The officer and I just locked eyes. I will never forget the look in his eyes. His eyes said, ‘Help me.'”
The grandmother, who is only 5-feet 2-inches tall, then “jumped out of her vehicle and onto [the] back of the assailant,” police said.
“It was just instinct,” Williams-Tillman said. “God led the way.”
Williams-Tillman said the suspect was reaching for Aime’s gun.
“They both had their hands on the gun to see who would get it first, so I twisted the suspect’s arm,” the grandmother explained. “Then we were all falling. I didn’t let go of his arm until we all fell. My tennis shoe came off in all of this, too.”
Williams-Tillman said she left the altercation with some bruises, but added, “I’m a big girl. I’m a strong woman. It didn’t matter at the time.” She said the officer “was banged up pretty bad.”
Other officers arrived at the scene and subdued Bennett with a stun gun. He was arrested and charged with battery on a police officer, aggravated battery, disarming a police officer, resisting an officer with violence, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.
Williams-Tillman said she and Aime hugged each other after the altercation.
“All these emotions came out,” she said. “It was like we already knew each other.”
“But my oldest daughter started crying, saying, ‘What if you didn’t make it back to us?'” Williams-Tillman added. “I didn’t fear anything. There was no time to fear. I just walked in the path God had for me.”
Several social media users praised Williams-Tillman for her bravery.
“So Awesome when a heart is full of Love and at Peace it makes the best focused warrior,” wrote one Facebook user.
“Go Grandma and God Bless you!” wrote another. “I probably would have stopped but got my assets kicked too. Amen.”
“Any car that didn’t stop to help this man needs some help,” added another user. “u have no soul if u don’t stop to help someone in a spot like that. u would want someone to stop for u if u were in a spot like this.”