EDMONTON – Eugene DeRose was driving in the area of 111 Avenue and 95A Street last Wednesday when he saw a police officer in trouble.
“I acted on pure adrenaline,” DeRose said.
Edmonton police said Const. Sasa Novakovic saw a man and woman jaywalking across four lanes of rush hour traffic and asked them to stop and come back to the sidewalk.
EPS said Novakovic asked for their names but the man refused. Police said he was warned he would be arrested for obstruction of justice but continued to be uncooperative.
When Novakovic tried to arrest the man, he allegedly pinned the officer on the ground, pressing down on his upper body. The woman ran away.
The male suspect was approximately 280 pounds and police said the situation could have been much worse.
“My options were getting limited,” Novakovic said.
“Drastic measures would have been taken had Eugene not intervened. So I’m really thankful.”
DeRose saw the altercation, stopped his vehicle in the middle of the road and ran over to pull the man off Novakovic.
“I saw what was taking place… and without even thinking, I knew I had to jump in to prevent things from getting worse,” DeRose said.
“It looked like the officer was in distress and that he needed help.”
He was able to hold the man down until the constable got up and arrested him.
“I’m just glad I was able to help,” DeRose said.
Gabriel William Dumont, 27, has been charged with obstructing, resisting and assaulting a peace officer. He was also issued a $250 ticket for jaywalking. Dumont is expected to make his next court appearance on March 4.
“As a police officer, you never expect an innocent bystander to take the law into their own hands,” Novakovic said. “In this particular case, my family and I will be forever grateful for Eugene’s courageous act. He deserves to be commended.”
Novakovic plans to nominate DeRose for a Citizen Award through the Edmonton Police Commission.