Good Samaritans help deputy who was assaulted by driver during traffic stop

KEYMAR, Md. — Two good Samaritans came to the rescue of a sheriff’s deputy who was being assaulted Sunday by a driver during a traffic stop.

Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Master Deputy Brett Etzler was patrolling around 11:09 a.m. when he saw a driver pass a vehicle in a no passing zone, WBFF reported.

Etzler swerved to the side of the road to avoid a collision. He then turned on his flashing lights and made a U-turn in order to pull over the driver, identified as Joseph Russo. He immediately stopped. Russo, 24, then got out of his Honda Civic and started walking toward Etzler’s patrol vehicle.

Etzler tried to detain Russo, who was described by police as defiant and belligerent, WJZ reported. Russo turned and hit Etzler. The two fell to the ground during the altercation.

Two passing drivers noticed the fight and stopped to help, investigators said. They held Russo while Etzler placed him in handcuffs. Etzler then put him in the patrol vehicle.

Russo was arrested and charged with first and second degree assault, assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting and interfering with arrest, failure to obey a lawful order, obstructing and hindering and reckless endangerment, WBFF reported.

Etzler was taken to a hospital where he was treated and released. Etzler was awarded a Purple Heart from the department in 2016, according to the Baltimore Sun.

“We are thankful to the two individuals who took action when they saw a deputy in need,” the sheriff’s department said.

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