If there was ever a need for a textbook example of how to help an officer in danger, Derek Meyer has given us one.
While driving in Springville, Utah on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018, Meyer witnessed an incident in progress that made him turn his car around.
A Utah police officer confronted a man whom he witnessed rummaging around in a local donation bin. The unidentified officer confronted Paul Douglas Anderson, who exited the donation box but refused to remove his hands from his pockets at the officer’s request.
When Anderson finally complied, he is reported to have balled up his fists and began beating the officer, punching him repeatedly in the face. It was this physical altercation that Meyer saw.
Meyer admits that he owns a gun and his concealed carry license for the purpose of protecting other people.
“I carry a gun to protect me and those around me, but primarily I carry a gun to protect my family first and foremost,” Meyer said. “Outside of that, if I were to use my gun to protect anyone, it would be law enforcement or military personnel.”
Meyer arrived on the scene as Anderson was continuing to pummel the officer about the face. Meyer exited his car, aimed it at the assailant, and ordered him to stop. Anderson did, but also took the opportunity to run. Meyer did not shoot and did not pursue.
Several local agencies assisted in the search for Anderson, who was found roughly 30 minutes later hiding under a flatbed trailer. He was transported to jail and charged with assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, burglary, theft, and failing to stop at the command of an officer.
The officer was treated at a local hospital for lacerations on his face and a fractured eye socket. Cpl. Cory Waters of the Springville PD acknowledged that Meyer’s rapid response may have saved the officer’s life, and certainly prevented more extensive injuries.
“Had he not been in the right place at the right time, who knows what would have happened,” Waters said. “But he definitely stopped the attack from continuing and becoming much worse. He might have even saved either one of their lives. It could have gone really bad, even for the suspect.”
Meyer’s didn’t do it for the attention, just to help the officer. But he is sharing his story as an example. “There aren’t enough good stories from responsible, gun-owning people,” Meyer said.