It is said that traffic stops are one of the most dangerous things a police officer does in the line of duty. Deputy First Class Dean Bardes found that out firsthand.
Bardes had pulled over Edward Strother, and the traffic stop quickly went bad. Strother was speeding, but rather than get a ticket, he decided that he should attack Bardes. He began beating the officer, and when a good Samaritan came by, he saw Strother on top of Bardes in the middle of the road, pummeling the officer repeatedly.
The citizen who witnessed the attack quickly intervened. The man, who wants to remain anonymous, pulled out his weapon — for which he has a concealed carry permit — and ordered Strother to step away from Deputy Bardes. But Strother refused to comply, and continued beating the officer. So the citizen decided to shoot, hitting Strother three times, fearing that the officer’s life was at risk if he didn’t act.
The citizen’s gun was seized in the course of the investigation, and it’s not likely that he will get it back. But people appreciated his courage and willingness to do the right thing, no matter what it might cost him. But Shoot Straight gun store owner Mark Williams called Bardes’ department and asked if he could do something for the citizen in return.
Three days after saving Bardes’ life, the citizen was invited to the gun store and told he could choose any concealed carry weapon that he wanted. He ended up choosing a Springfield XDS, and can continue to keep himself — and his community — safe.