ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) A newly released video shows a dangerous struggle between a Vinton police officer and suspect July 22, an altercation which was ultimately ended when a Good Samaritan jumped in to help.
Joshua Blake says he's seen Vinton police thank Roanoke man for quick action a few times in the months since he stepped into an altercation between police and a suspect.
"It was still hard for me to believe that I did what I did," Blake said.
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In the video, you see Blake hand his phone to a friend, run up to the scene, and begin to struggle with a man.
That man -- Vincent Lee Hairston -- was convicted of felony eluding and attempting to disarm a law enforcement officer during a bench trial this month.
A former corrections officer, Blake says he had to "body slam" Hairston as he fought back. Several more people arrive in the video and get control of the situation, at which point Blake and an officer step back, hugging when they're both safe.
"I want to give back to the community because if I'm here I have to have a purpose," Blake said. "If I can help save one life or two lives, I feel like my job on earth is done."
Blake says he's gotten mixed reactions from few friends and family members. Some have congratulated him on his quick action, others worried he could have been hurt. But Blake says he would do it all over again.
"In a heartbeat. I know what I saw was an officer who needed assistance and with nowhere back up nowhere in sight, I had to jump in there," Blake said.
Hairston is due in court for sentencing on these and other offenses in May.