Memphis bystanders defend police officer in attack

Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Police in Memphis say bystanders helped subdue a pedestrian who climbed into a squad car and reached for an officer's gun.

A police news release says the officer saw the suspect walking in traffic Saturday afternoon and trying to hit passing cars. According to the release, suspect Alphonso Johnson reached into the squad car window and tried to grab the officer. Police say he crawled in the vehicle, tried to undo the officer's holster and yelled: "Give me your gun; I'm going to kill you."

According to the release, people watching from the corner ran to the car, pulled the man out and helped subdue him until more officers arrived. The officer avoided serious injuries and was working Sunday.

Shelby County jail records show that Johnson, 27, was being held on charges of attempted first-degree murder and resisting arrest. Neither police nor jail officials knew if Johnson had a lawyer.

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