HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Two Henrico men are being credited with helping rescue a Virginia State Police trooper who was sucker-punched by a suspect during a traffic stop.
State Police said around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Trooper M.W. Deus pulled over a vehicle driven by Jessy Jimenez Remigios, 23, of Richmond, for speeding on I-64 west in Henrico near the Mechanicsville Turnpike.
Upon approaching Remigios, police said a strong odor of marijuana was coming from the vehicle.
“Remigios complied with the trooper’s request to exit the vehicle and took a seat on the guardrail,” police said in a press release. “When the trooper returned to his patrol car, Remigios returned to his car to retrieve something from inside and then threw it into the woods.”
“That traffic stop went from good to bad in seconds,” said Jake Baber.
Right as Trooper Deus re-approached Remigios is when Jake was in his truck driving by.
“I noticed the officer get blown backwards towards the guardrail, and within seconds a fight broke out between him and the suspect,” Jake said.
Police said Remigios became combative upon Deus' return and punched him in the face.
The 24-year-old immediately pulled over and ran to help the trooper along with another man named Adam, who is trained in jiu-jitsu.
“His training allowed him to know, as well as me, to get him (Remigios) to the other side of the guardrail where he couldn’t get to the officer, where he wasn’t being injured, but he wasn’t able to move his arms freely so he wasn’t able to cause any more injury to anybody else,” Jake said.
“I’ve trained in jiu-jitsu for eight years, five to six days a week, and have been a teacher for over a year now,” Adam said. “When I saw the trooper fighting for his life, it was pure instinct to stop and help.”
Police said Remigios was forcibly trying to remove the trooper’s gun during the struggle when Jake and Adam stepped in.
“As I ran up to help, the guy had his hand on the trooper’s gun and he yelled ‘he’s going for my gun’,” Adam said. “I jumped on the guy’s back and put him in a rear-naked choke, [a jiu-jitsu move], until we fell back over the guardrail and I could see he didn’t have the gun anymore. I then held him until backup arrived.”
“The subject was doing everything he could to get the officer’s gun off his belt,” Jake added. “That would have been a life-changing moment had that occurred.”
Minutes later, dozens of Henrico Police and VSP cruisers arrived on scene.
“It was like the cavalry was sent out,” Jake said. “It was like, where did you guys come from?” For Jake, he’s thankful he was there to help, even if he was on the way to a job interview.
“That was divine intervention and in my opinion, the Lord placing me there to just to help in the matter of need,” he said.
However, while our nation is gripped with tensions involving law enforcement, Jake added he was simply helping the person who needed help the most at the time.
“It doesn’t matter, that’s a human being,” he said. “That’s a fellow brother, a fellow sister in this community that’s in need of help. I would do the same thing if the tables were turned. It wouldn’t have mattered.”
Trooper Deus was taken to VCU Medical Center for facial injuries but has since been released.
Remigios was also transported to VCU as a precautionary measure and faces several charges including assault on law enforcement, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.
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