Bystanders aid officers under attack on SC highway

Bystanders, including a military veteran, stepped in after they saw two deputies being beaten with one of their own batons

By Police1 Staff

LADSON, S.C. — The suspect who beat two Charleston County Sheriff’s deputies over the head with one of their own batons is dead after a struggle on a highway Sunday. 

According to ABC4, Deputy Robert Bittner and Deputy Levi Reiter were responding to a call of a man walking barefoot in the road, blocking traffic.

Sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson told the station when the deputies approached the man, he grabbed one of their batons and began beating them on the head. One deputy deployed his TASER, but no shots were fired. 

The news station reported the suspect was taken down with the help of six to 10 bystanders. 

"We saw two officers being tackled...," Michael White, one of the bystanders who aided the officers, said. "About this time the guy was extremely combative, reaching for weapons and anything else. We all took the necessary measures to make sure the officers were safe."

White just returned from a four-year deployment and his wife, an EMT, helped treat one of the deputies, according to the station. 

"She tried to patch one of the guys up. Unfortunately he was pretty badly gashed," White told ABC4. "When you see an officer help them, they help you in everyday situations. I'm not going to sit by and watch one of our fellow officers get harmed."

Both deputies have been released from the hospital and are recovering at home. 

The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. According to the Post and Courier, the cause of death is unclear. It is not currently known if the TASER made contact with the suspect. 

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