Vinton police thank Roanoke man for quick action

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) A Roanoke man is being hailed as a hero after his quick thinking during a weekend arrest.

Josh Blake says he didn't know at first what he was filming when he pulled out his phone Saturday. All he saw was a speeding car. Next, police, a wreck, and a struggle.

Vinton police say one of their officers tried to pull over a car, but the driver Vincent Hairston, 32, first tried to outrun him before wrecking on Campbell Ave. in Roanoke. Police say Hairston then fought with the officer, and Blake says he jumped in when Hairston allegedly put his hand on the officer's department-issued handgun.

"When I saw him by himself, I said 'I just got to step in and help him,'" Blake said. "From that moment on, I just kinda saw red. I was just in the right place at the right time."

Vinton Chief Tom Foster says this was most severe case of resisting arrest they've seen this year, and he's thankful that someone stopped to help his officer.

"There are a lot of things that could have happened that would have made the situation a lot worse, but Josh putting himself in harm's way to help her officer definitely made the situation better," Chief Foster said.

And the surprises just kept coming. Blake says even after that incident was over he realized one more thing: he knew the name of the suspect involved.

"As soon as I got a good look at his face, I knew who he was because I had seen him on social media," Blake said.

Hairston had active arrest warrants out of the City of Roanoke, including a probation violation for abduction, two counts of assault, and felony grand larceny. Vinton adding felony eluding police, obstruction of Justice, and attempt to disarm a law enforcement officer.

"I can't do everything, but I feel like if I can do something good that gets noticed then my job is done," Blake said.

Hariston is being held in Roanoke City jail without bond.