A fender bender led to a fistfight with guns pulled, and it was all caught on camera. As a terrifying scuffle ensued, a shot rang out. Then, an off-duty police officer decided to get involved, not knowing he was on video too.
Sam Ford, an ABC7 reporter, was near the Kendall Baptist Church in Prince George’s County, Maryland, on a Tuesday afternoon when he and a photojournalist with him heard a car crash, then a woman screaming, KOMO News reported. After hearing the commotion, the pair turned and looked at a nearby intersection, where they saw a greenish Tahoe hitting a black Lincoln Town Car during a fender bender.
Immediately, ABC7’s cameras started rolling, capturing the aftermath of the crash, and it wasn’t long before the fender bender at the intersection of Branch Avenue and Southern Avenue near the D.C./Prince George’s County line turned into a terrifying ordeal. Not only did a fistfight break out in the middle of the street, but it wasn’t long before at least one gunshot rang out as well.
After a woman started screaming about kids being in the Town Car following the fender bender, the Tahoe did a U-turn and fled the scene, according to WJLA. A man then got out of the Town Car and began arguing with another man on the street. As the situation quickly escalated, the ABC7 news crew heard a shot ring out just before the two men started struggling on the ground in the middle of the street.
As the men fought for control of the weapon, two women joined the fray, getting on top of the men and trying to gain control of the Taurus 9mm pistol. ABC7’s exclusive video shows a man, who does not have control of the gun, removing the clip and pocketing it as an off-duty Special Police Officer in plainclothes gets out of his unmarked car with his weapon drawn.
“Get on the ground!” the officer, who’s since been hailed a hero, demands of the man who had since dropped the gun. Within minutes, more than a dozen Prince George’s and D.C. police officers were on the scene. Both men involved in the scuffle, later identified as Christopher Jerome Davis Jr and Gary Campbell, were taken away in handcuffs and were charged with simple assault.
In addition, one of the suspects was also charged with carrying a pistol without a license. With about 10 children reportedly in the Town Car at the time of the accident, fortunately, no one was hurt — and it’s all thanks to the brave off-duty officer who intervened. With both his bravery and calm during a heart-pounding incident captured on video, he’s rightfully been praised for how he handled the situation:
“We’re just glad one of our members stumbled on to this situation and brought it to a peaceful conclusion,” Gregg Pemberton, the DC Police Union Chairman, said in a statement on Facebook. “This is the responsible and professional policing our members do every day in safeguarding our city and its residents.”
Others shared similar sentiments, calling the off-duty officer “exemplary” and “outstanding” as he was applauded for doing “a great job of policing” and effectively deescalate the situation. Realizing how dangerous the confrontation was, especially with 10 children nearby, one commenter wrote, “My reaction was ‘thank God you were there,'” and we couldn’t agree more.
We shudder to think what could have happened if this brave officer wasn’t in the right place at the right time and courageous enough to put his life on the line to keep his community safe. That’s what members of law enforcement do every day — they are just rarely applauded for it the way they should be. So, let us say what they seldom hear: Job well done, sir.