Sheriff’s deputy attacked by drunk suspect, put in a chokehold – has life saved by five young men


AUBURN, WA – An off-duty sheriff’s deputy found herself in a chokehold last Saturday in King County. A man, who was suspected of DUI after causing a multi-car accident, was trying to flee the scene before wrestling with the deputy and getting her into a head lock. 

A post shared by the King County Sheriff’s office via their Facebook page tells the story succinctly. 

Sheriff's deputy attacked by drunk suspect, put in a chokehold - has life saved by five young men
Photo courtesy of King County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page

“We acknowledge no one in this photo is wearing mask, but please read on and you’ll see why. It’s an incredible story.

“On 7/18/2020 around 1 AM, Deputy Elliott was off duty, driving her marked patrol car home after her shift when she was flagged down in the City of Auburn near the E Valley Access RD for a very intoxicated male who had just caused a multiple vehicle collision.

“Deputy Elliott checked on all of the occupants of the vehicles involved to make sure no one was injured and everyone was alright. A woman whose car was hit told Deputy Elliott the man that had just caused the collision was drunk and trying to walk away from the scene.

“Deputy Elliott called out to the male to stop, but he kept trying to stumble away from her. Deputy Elliott had to jog up to the male and was able to grab on to him to advise him he was not free to leave and was being detained. The male immediately turned around in a fighting stance with his arms up in the air. A struggle began and at one point Deputy Elliott was able to get the suspect onto the ground and call for help on her radio.

“Suddenly, the suspect wrapped his arms around Deputy Elliott’s neck, put her in a headlock and began squeezing. She struggled to get out of the hold but thankfully did not lose consciousness. About this time, Deputy Elliott heard several men’s voices yelling ‘get off of her.’

A group of young men, pictured below, jumped on the suspect and struggled with him as Deputy Elliott was able to get free. They held the suspects shoulders and legs to the ground to allow Deputy Elliott to handcuff the man.

“Deputy Elliott sustained scrapes and bruising but thankfully she was not seriously injured. We cannot thank these five young men enough for coming to Deputy Elliott’s rescue. They quite possibly saved her life. The photo was taken just a few minutes after the teens helped her. Moms and Dads, you should be proud of these kids!

“The suspect was arrested for felony assault of an Officer and DUI and booked into SCORE jail by Auburn PD, who will be the primary agency on the case.

“The suspect had several other warrants for his arrest, including for DUI, DWLS 1 and failure to have an ignition interlock.”

We at Law Enforcement Today are thankful that Deputy Elliot’s injuries were minor. We are also grateful for these five young men who offered their assistance.

We hope these gentlemen understand that their decision and actions were not only the right thing to do, they may have very well saved the deputy’s life that night.

Had these five not intervened, we may have been telling the story of Deputy Elliot the way we sadly had to relay the report of Florida State Trooper Joseph Bullock back in February.

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The Martin County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man accused of killing Florida Highway Patrol trooper Joseph Bullock in Martin county Wednesday.

Twenty-eight-year-old Franklin Reed III of Palm Bay was also killed by an off-duty Riviera Beach police officer who was driving by and saw the chaos unfolding.

Witnesses say the suspect, Reed was in a dispute with a tow truck operator over his disabled vehicle that was in the median at Mile Marker 107.

“The bad guy was trying to get his car off the tow truck and there was an exchange of gunfire,” says Adam Phillips who witnessed the commotion.

Phillips said Reed tried to shoot the tow truck operator, but the gun jammed, and the tow truck driver ran and hid in the bushes.

Riviera Beach police Officer Jamel Headings saw what was happening and stopped. He shot and killed Reed.

Headings, who has been with the department ten years, is on administrative leave as is standard policy after a shooting.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which is investigating the shootings, had no comment Thursday.


Trooper Bullock’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office.

Flags were flown at half-staff Thursday at state and county facilities in his honor.

Bullock spent 19 years with FHP, always stationed in Ft. Pierce. He leaves behind two sisters and his parents.

The trooper’s loss is felt statewide among law enforcement.

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony talked about the impact during a media Q & A Thursday.

“While these incidents don’t happen very often, it’s a reminder of how dangerous these jobs are,” he said. We need the community’s support and should pray for the family because it’s tough.”

In speaking with, Sgt. Gerry Harrington with Port St. Lucie police said he and Bullock always backed each other up.

“You loved him, or you hated him. If you loved him it was because you knew him and he always had your back,” Harrington said. “He was a cop’s cop. He was so militaristic. He dressed appropriately. He was always looking sharp. He truly represented the Florida Highway Patrol the way it should be in a very positive light.”

Harrington said if you didn’t like Bullock, it was because he caught you doing something wrong.

“He made you accountable for that,” Harrington said.

Harrington said Bullock took great pride in his profession, noting a social media post from late 2019 in which Bullock was polishing his name badge.

“He wanted the public to see that he cared about himself, and he took a lot of honor in not only FHP, but his name, and he represented that,” Harrington said.

Mark Zook, who retired from FHP in 2017 after more than three decades with the agency, said Bullock was “very conscientious” and enjoyed the job.

“He loved stopping the bad guys and dealing with them,” Zook said. “He wasn’t necessarily out to write as many tickets as possible. Instead, he’d use the opportunity to teach motorists what they did wrong and help them. He just wanted to serve the public. He was a trooper’s trooper, that’s for sure.”

Zook said he was a great guy and mentor.

“He trained them (troopers) about safety and interacting with the motoring public, and the aspects of the job,” Zook said.

Harrington said in pictures in uniform Bullock had “that serious trooper look, the typical highway patrolman. He defined that role.”

Bullock, a U.S. Air Force veteran with two sisters, also had an infectious smile.

Harrington said Bullock at one point lived in St. Lucie County, but most recently lived in Martin County and said he was part of the community.

“It didn’t matter that he didn’t work for Port St. Lucie,” Harrington said. “He looked after our citizens as if they were his own. He had a sense of ownership to our area because he lived here.”

Detective Rafael Rodriguez, who worked with Bullock in the FHP before Rodriguez joined Port St. Lucie police, said Bullock also had a good sense of humor.

He said Bullock’s father was also in law enforcement.

He said Bullock was one of his first role models in law enforcement.

Others stressed his caution, tactical prowess and self-awareness.

“If he ever backed me up on a traffic stop, I knew without a doubt in the world I was walking away from that traffic stop because I had probably one of the best people watching my back at that point,” Sistarelli said.

Sistarelli called Bullock “the definition of tactical.”

“He was always aware of his surroundings, always looking back, always watching over his shoulder,” Sistarelli said.

Rodriguez said that while in the Air Force, Bullock was stationed in South Dakota and was involved with security forces.

“At the end of the day he was someone to look up to, both professional and as a friend,” Rodriguez said.


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