Americans use firearms to defend themselves and others every day of the year. And they often do so without firing a shot. Oftentimes these incidents go unrecognized. But that wasn’t the case last week when a Good Samaritan with a concealed firearm saw a police officer being assaulted in Springville, Utah.
Derek Meyer was driving down Main Street in Springville early Friday afternoon. He spotted a police officer being beaten by another man in a parking lot, according to local media.
Meyer quickly turned his car around and parked behind the police car. He pulled out his handgun, pointed it at the assailant. And yelled at him to get off the officer and spot assaulting him.
“I carry a gun to protect me and those around me, but primarily I carry a gun to protect my family first and foremost,” Meyer said. “Outside of that, if I were to use my gun to protect anyone it would be law enforcement or military personnel.”
When the man saw Meyer’s gun, he immediately stopped punching the officer and ran away. Law enforcement caught him later that afternoon. He was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, and other charges.
The unidentified officer suffered a fractured eye socket and lacerations around his eye, but he is expected to make a full recovery.
Police say the incident began when the officer spotted two feet dangling out of a donation bin. The officer asked the man to get out of the bin. When he complied, he kept both hands inside his pockets.
Worried the man had a weapon, the officer asked him repeatedly to remove his hands from his pockets, which is when the man began punching the officer in the face.
Springville police say Meyer’s quick action helped save the officer’s life.
“Had he not been in the right place at the right time, who knows what would have happened,” Corporal Cory Waters told local media. “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.”
Meyers said he thought anyone would have acted as he did under similar circumstances. He said he didn’t do it “to get any extra attention or to have people talk about me or anything I did.”
But he’s glad to share his story because people do not hear enough “good stories from responsible, gun-owning people.”