A pair of feet hanging out of a clothing donation bin is not what you would expect to see on Friday afternoon. But around 2 p.m. on Feb. 2, in Springville, Utah, a police officer who was patrolling on Main Street saw just that.
The officer ordered the individual to get out of the bin, according to a local Fox News affiliate report.
The individual, Paul Douglas Anderson, climbed out of the bin but his hands were and remained in his pockets. Concerned that he might be possessing a weapon, the officer ordered Anderson several times to take his hands out of his pockets. When he finally obeyed the officer’s request, he lunged at the officer and punched him in the face.
The assault continued until a Good Samaritan, Derek Meyer, who has a pistol and conceal carry permit, came to the aid of the officer.
Meyer said he was driving north on Main Street and saw the flashing police lights and then the officer being assaulted. Meyer said he made a U-turn to assist the officer.
“I carry a gun to protect me and those around me, but primarily I carry a gun to protect my family first and foremost. Outside of that, if I were to use my gun to protect anyone, it would be law enforcement or military personnel,” Meyer said.
Meyer told Fox 13 that he got out of his car and pointed his weapon at Anderson. He demanded him to get off the officer and stop assaulting him. Once Anderson saw that Meyer had a weapon, he fled the scene on foot.
Police arrived on the scene and while they searched for Anderson, a neighboring elementary school was put on lockdown for about 30 minutes.
Anderson was apprehended when police found him hiding under a flatbed trailer. Anderson has a lengthy criminal history and is now facing several more charges.
Cpl. Cory Waters with Springville Police said: “Meyer’s quick, careful action made a huge difference. Had he not been in the right place at the right time, who knows what would have happened.”
“But he definitely stopped the attack from continuing and becoming much worse. He might have even saved either one of their lives. It could have gone really bad, even for the suspect,” he added.
Meyer does not want recognition, and says he did it because of the type of person that he is. Meyer believes that anyone would have come to the aid of the police officer, whether they had a gun or not.
He is happy to just have people hear “good stories from responsible, gun-owning people,” he said.