A Louisiana black Christian woman has said she was simply "doing what God needed me to do" in saving the life of a white police officer by fearlessly jumping on the back of his assailant, deterring him.
According to The Advocate, Vickie Williams-Tillman, 56, was driving to a store, listening to gospel music on her radio, when she spotted Baton Rouge Police Cpl. Billy Aime and the suspect engaged in a heated encounter.
Police said that 28-year-old Thomas Bennett, who was found asleep inside his vehicle with drug paraphernalia out in the open, became aggressive when confronted by Aime. Bennett grabbed the officer's baton and repeatedly bashed him on the head with it, and also tried to grab the officer's gun, flashlight, and radio.
Without hesitating, Williams-Tillman called police for more assistance before she jumped on the man's back, confusing him. Shortly thereafter, police backup arrived and the suspect was apprehended after being shot with a stun gun.
"It was something that went through my soul," she said. "You don't think about the risk. I could see in his eyes he needed help. You don't have time to think about it ... I did what God needed me to do."
Bennett was arrested on aggravated battery, disarming a police officer, battery on a police officer, resisting an officer with violence, possession of cocaine and possession drug paraphernalia charges. In turn, the police officer suffered several wounds to his head, while Williams-Tillman injured her wrist.
The Good Samaritan said she spoke with the officer and gave him a hug after they were both treated. He told her a lot of drivers had driven by and not stopped to help him.
She said, "They're human beings, just like us ... We're all one family."
Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston-Broome called the woman a hero whose actions perfectly demonstrated Jesus' commands in Mark 12:30-21 - "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'There is no commandment greater than these."
"Vickie Williams-Tillman epitomizes the true Good Samaritan," Weston-Broome said. "She reached out and offered a courageous and unconditional response to the officer. Ms. Williams-Tillman is a hero and demonstrates the true meaning of loving God and loving your neighbor."
Following the encounter, several took to Facebook to thank Williams-Tillman for her bravery.
"As a retired Veteran from Rescue and Spec Ops ... I salute you Vickie ... you are truly one of Rescue's Angels ... may God bless your day and the rest of your life ... HooooYaaahh!" wrote Don Lister.
Wrote Susan Wellborn: "You are an amazing lady! you are a great American hero! thank you from the bottom of all of our hearts as retired and active police officers."