Civilians honored for assisting officer in an arrest

DECATUR, Ala. —Being a police officer can be a dangerous job and sometimes they run into the unexpected. That's what happened to a Decatur Police Officer last month, when he encountered someone resisting arrest.

But thanks to a little help from some civilians, the officer was able to make the arrest. Today those who helped were honored by the department.

Stuart Owensby and Patrick Vaughn were driving along the Beltline last month, when they both came upon Officer Jack Brown.

Officer Brown was trying to arrest someone who was walking along the Beltline. Police say this person tried to fight the officer. Owensby and Vaughn noticed. "I saw what was going on and it looked like he needed help," Stuart Owensby said.

"I was in law enforcement for a while so my thinking was the quicker he can get this guy handcuffed, the quicker this whole thing gets safe; because as long as there is a fight going on things can lead to bigger things," Patrick Vaughn explained.

The Decatur Police Department said their willingness to help allowed the officer to handcuff the suspect. Owensby and Vaughn left the scene without telling the officer their names, but the department wanted to know who they were.

They sent word out through social media looking for  these two men. "I went into work on April Fools day and a co-worker said The Decatur Police Department is looking for you. I said sure they are. They said no seriously, it's on the news and Facebook," Vaughn said.

They found them and they were honored for their assistance in helping the officer. Neither one expected to be recognized.

"It's nice that the city recognizes people that do help and do good things," Owensby said.

"I don't think either one of us stopped that day expecting this, but getting it you know was pretty cool," Vaughn said.

They said officers put their lives on the line every day and do it without getting an award. They were happy to help.

During Thursday's ceremony, five new officers were sworn in and 24-year veteran Lieutenant Proncey Robertson retired from his career in law enforcement.