Three good Samaritans rushed to the aid of a sheriff's deputy as he fought with a man who was in the process of trying to take the deputy's gun in South Whittier on Sunday afternoon, officials said.
The incident took place about 3:10 p.m. in the 15000 block of Leffingwell Road in the unincorporated county area, near La Mirada Boulevard, Deputy Eric Ortiz of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Information Bureau said.
The deputy responded to a report of a suspicious person, Ortiz said. The suspect immediately began arguing with the deputy, who called for backup.
"At some point, the suspect took a fighting stance and swung at the deputy, and a fight ensued," according to Ortiz. "While on the ground, the suspect reached for the deputy's handgun."
During the fray, the magazine dropped from the deputy's weapon, he said. As the deputy was fighting to keep the suspect from pulling his duty pistol from its holster, three good Samaritans ran to help.
"With the assistance of the samaritans, the deputy handcuffed the suspect," Ortiz said. The deputy was treated at a hospital for a minor injury and promptly released.
The suspect, whose identity was not available, was expected to face charges including resisting or delaying a peace officer.
Sheriff's Norwalk Station Capt. Jim Tatrau took to social media to thank the three good Samaritans.
"THANK YOU! To the 3 brave citizens who helped a #NorwalkStation deputy who was fighting for his life," the captain posted on Twitter, signing the message, "Forever grateful."