When Vickie Williams-Tillman saw a police officer struggling with someone on the side of the road as she was headed out to shop Sunday morning in Baton Rouge, the 56-year-old says she didn't have time to think. "I could see in his eyes he needed help," she tells the Advocate. She got out of her car and jumped on the man's back, and police are hailing her bravery. The trouble began when the officer saw drug paraphernalia inside the car of 28-year-old Thomas Bennett during a traffic stop, per police. Bennett allegedly became aggressive while the officer tried to handcuff him; police say Bennett used the officer's own baton to hit the officer in the head, and was trying to grab the gun from the officer's holster. Williams-Tillman called 911 first, then jumped into the fray, per a Baton Rouge PD Facebook post.
Williams-Tillman "made a big difference," says a Baton Rouge police spokesperson, acknowledging that things could have ended differently had the woman not stopped to help. Ultimately, another officer arrived on the scene and was able to hit Bennett with a stun gun and detain him. Williams-Tillman hurt her wrist in the incident and the original officer, Billy Aime, suffered head wounds, but no one was seriously injured. Bennett faces charges including aggravated battery, battery on a police officer, and disarming a police officer. "Vickie Williams-Tillman epitomizes the true Good Samaritan," says the mayor, who honored the woman being hailed as a hero during a press conference Monday, WAFB reports. As for Aime, he says he now considers Williams-Tillman family, the Advocate reports. (Strangers formed a human chain to rescue a driver from flames.)