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Three Citizens Rescue L.A. Policeman After Suspect Takes Gun During Arrest Attempt

September 08, 1996

Three citizens may have saved the life of a Los Angeles police officer Saturday after an assailant grabbed the lawman's gun during a struggle and attempted to shoot him, police said.

The trio, identified as Mark Woods, Emilio Santana and Erik Aba, all in their 40s, came to the officer's rescue during the altercation on a downtown Los Angeles street shortly after noon.

The struggle ensued when Officer Tom Fox attempted to arrest the assailant for his alleged assault of another man. But the suspect turned on Fox, according to the LAPD account, grabbing the officer's gun from his holster and attempting to shoot him.

Seeing that Fox needed help, police said, the three men intervened on his behalf. They managed to maintain control of the weapon until additional officers arrived and overcame the assailant.

The suspect, whose name was not available, was arrested and booked on suspicion of attempted murder of a police officer. No serious injuries were reported in the incident.

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