Archive for Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Delivery man helps thwart attack on officer

August 22, 2006


A newspaper delivery man didn't think twice about jumping onto a suspect whom he saw striking a Franklin County Sheriff's officer early Sunday morning.

Dennie Peterson, of Baldwin, hopped out of his car at 2:30 a.m. when he saw the officer and the suspect locked in a tussle on the side of Riley Road near U.S. Highway 59.

"This is kind of a shock. It was almost like watching something on 'Cops.' It was. It was wild. I didn't want anybody to get hurt," Peterson said.

He and his wife, Catherine, have delivered the Journal-World to rural areas in Douglas and Franklin counties for the last year-and-a-half.

Sunday morning, he was driving east on Riley Road and passed an officer talking with a man, and then saw the man run away. When the officer caught up with him, they wrestled, and the suspect then started punching the officer, Peterson said.

Peterson ran from 50 feet away and tackled the suspect. He and the officer tried to hold the suspect down. It eventually took two more sheriff's officers to arrive and arrest the suspect.

"I think (Peterson's help) made a lot of difference," said Lt. Jimmie Dean, a sheriff spokesman. "It could have been very serious for the officer. He said that his energy was down. He couldn't hardly give anything to that point. It's nice that we have citizens that help us out."

Dean declined to name the officer. He said the suspect, Jason Houston, 20, Ottawa, was pulled over for a speeding violation. He also had a warrant out for his arrest from Ottawa Municipal Court.

Houston, who is accused of biting the officer on the arm, received treatment for pepper spray in his eyes.

He was arrested on charges of aggravated battery and battery of an officer, felony obstruction, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, driving under the influence, having an open container of alcohol, improper driving on a lane road, speeding and failing to yield for an emergency vehicle. A spokeswoman with the Franklin County Atty. said Monday that Houston was still in custody.

Dean says Peterson will receive some recognition from the sheriff's department. The situation could have been dangerous, but the suspect was unarmed, Dean said, and officers were grateful that Peterson assisted.

"I'm looking out for my community. Those are my officers out there protecting me," Peterson said.


Richard Heckler 11 years, 8 months ago

Was the deputy out of shape? Was he following protocol? It's likely they could have arrested this culprit later in the day or in the week. It's good Peterson was not harmed.

lori 11 years, 8 months ago

Cool that the guy lent a hand.

It does sound like something out of a movie or cheap pot boiler. The lt deputy's name is Jimmie Dean?! That's awesome!

Sigmund 11 years, 8 months ago

Merrill, did you ever think the Deputy might have been trying to avoid using deadly force, didn't have the time to fund a study or to hire experts?

Oh great job to the citizen and to the deputy. This could have turned out so much worse!

coldandhot 11 years, 8 months ago

Its apparent that Merrill lives on another planet. Find the guy later in the day or week? Maybe after a study was done by the Franklin County Commision?

Great Job to the Citizen!

craigers 11 years, 8 months ago

Nice job Peterson. I bet he was up for awhile after that adreniline rush!

trinity 11 years, 8 months ago

merrill apparently has no clue. if (and i think he was, besides all the other stuff) this houston was all methed up, he would have been a force for not only a couple officers but for officers, john/jane public, whomever. it's like wrestling a mad alligator.

kudos&eskimo pies for that paper dude! :)

prioress 11 years, 8 months ago

Good move, but extremely dangerous. Glad the "citizen" is OK.

my2cents 11 years, 8 months ago


Since Houston was fighting the deputy and trying to get away this time, who to say when you find him later in the day/week he won't do it again. You can't continue to let him go to get him later. When is enough; enough?

21-3215. Law enforcement officer's use of force in making arrest. (1) A law enforcement officer, or any person whom such officer has summoned or directed to assist in making a lawful arrest, need not retreat or desist from efforts to make a lawful arrest because of resistance or threatened resistance to the arrest. Such officer is justified in the use of any force which such officer reasonably believes to be necessary to effect the arrest and of any force which such officer reasonably believes to be necessary to defend the officer's self or another from bodily harm while making the arrest. However, such officer is justified in using force likely to cause death or great bodily harm only when such officer reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to such officer or another person, or when such officer reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape and such officer has probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or attempted to commit a felony involving great bodily harm or is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicates that such person will endanger human life or inflict great bodily harm unless arrested without delay.

muffaletta 11 years, 8 months ago

I was surprised to read the attacker was under the influence.

hawklet21 11 years, 8 months ago

The officer probably did need plenty of help, as this kid was involved in many high school sports and weight lifting. I wouldn't stop to help! I'd get my arse kicked in a second!

trinity 11 years, 8 months ago

heh, hawklet-and then, there'd be an ARMY out to kick whoever's arse that kicked YOUR arse! ;)

you are one loved lil' critter, i tell ya!!!

peace love&eskimo pies! :)

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 11 years, 8 months ago

Outstanding Mr. Peterson! Read some of the comments posted in response to the question of would you help an officer struggling with a suspect, in this issue. You have much more courage than many. Thank you, Lynn

rosie 11 years, 8 months ago

I think the key phrase is "he didn't think twice". If he had he may not have offered help because the offender may have jumped the gun on the new concealed carry law. I'm sure the officer was glad for the help and I'm glad no one was seriously injured.

bearded_gnome 11 years, 8 months ago

good job citizen!!! hope deputy will be okay and didn't catch any nasties from the bight.

now, we see jimmie dean lives in Frank Co... --Hey, Jimmy, your sausage ain't as good as it used to be! go back to the old quality. cool other job for Franklin Co!

jayhawks71 11 years, 8 months ago

It should be up to the citizen. One should not become an involuntary servant at the whim of a law enforcement officer. If a citizen wants to expose himself to lawsuit or bodily harm and perhaps death, then that is his choice alone; no one else's including a law enforcment official or the state.

Those same officers out there protecting him are empowered to protect him from himself as well. I think I will "opt out" of the part of the system where the government protects me from myself and sends men with guns to ensure that I do no harm to myself.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 8 months ago

I would have no chance of being any help at all, since I have physical problems. Best I could do would be call for help, which I think anyone would do if they saw something like this.

But there are lots of people who wouldn't want to stop and help, not knowing what the situation was or how dangerous it was.

JeffSpicoli 11 years, 7 months ago

I wish they'd remove Marion's comments from every article.

pusecat4791 11 years, 7 months ago

I am Mr. Peterson's wife I appreciate all of positive feedback on what my husband did. To answer Merrill's question no the deputy was not out of shape. Houston was alot bigger than the deputy. If Dennie had not stopped the officer could be six feet under right now. Yes it was like something you would see on cops. I think my husband done the right thing. Even if something would have happened to Dennie I would still be proud of him. He didn't have to stop, but these officers patrol to keep us safe as we do our job in the middle of the night. Paper carriers do come across problems like everyone else. Again Thanks for the positive feedback. Godbless.

pusecat4791 11 years, 7 months ago

Andini as for your comment the Journal World didn't know about this until they were contacted by Franklin Co. Franklin Co. thought it would be a good idea to print the story. No the deputy's name is not Jimmie Dean his name was not released nor will I tell you.

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