Porter County, IN – A mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter jumped in to help a struggling Porter County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) officer on Monday afternoon after he spotted a suspect attacking the officer while driving by a traffic stop.
PCSO Officer Jamison Smith said he was out on patrol on Swanson Road at approximately 4:17 p.m. on May 16 when he spotted a man he knew as 37-year-old Christopher Delgado, the Kenosha News reported.
Delgado had a valid warrant out for his arrest for automobile theft at the time.
Officer Smith, who was wearing a tactical vest with the word “sheriff” emblazoned on it, said Delgado gave him a fake name, then balled up his fists and started throwing punches when the officer told him he could not leave the scene.
Delgado repeatedly challenged the officer and punched him multiple times in the head during the ensuing altercation, according to police.
The fight was well underway when 39-year-old William Cassoday and his wife passed by the traffic stop on their way to visit Cassoday’s mother, the Kenosha News reported.
“As I was passing, I see the guy swinging at the cop,” Cassoday told the news outlet.
Luckily for Officer Smith, Cassoday is a trained MMA fighter with a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu who often works out with local law enforcement officers at the Choke-U Martial Arts School at the Valparaiso Family YMCA, the Kenosha News reported.
He immediately stopped his vehicle and ran over to help the struggling officer, making sure to approach in a manner that allowed the officer to see him coming so he wouldn’t invertedly surprise him.
Cassoday said Delgado was repositioning himself to take both him and Officer Smith on, so the MMA fighter took the opportunity to grab him from behind and place him into a “rear naked choke,” the Kenosha News reported.
“He just kind of went limp for a moment,” Cassoday recalled, noting that he had the advantage of not having to worry about police protocol when dealing with an aggressive suspect like law enforcement officers have to.
He continued holding Delgado long enough for Officer Smith to get the combative suspect into handcuffs.
Cassoday said the entire ordeal went down in about 15 seconds, the Kenosha News reported.
Officer Smith suffered injuries to his face as a result of the attack, but came out of the brawl relatively unharmed.
Cassoday said that he didn’t realize until after the confrontation that Officer Smith is also a friend of his family, the Kenosha News reported.
Delgado was arrested on charges of false informing, misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, and felony battery on a law enforcement officer resulting in bodily injuries, the Kenosha News reported.
PCSO Corporal Benjamin McFalls praised Cassoday on Wednesday for going above and beyond to help an officer in need.
“Mr. Cassoday willingly jumped into a fight, in which our officer was being violently attacked,” Cpl. McFalls told the Kenosha News. “Putting his own safety aside, he ran into harm’s way, assisting Officer Smith in taking a felon into custody.”
The corporal said the PCSO “cannot thank Mr. William Cassoday enough for his courageous actions.”
“We are grateful to serve our community, one which supports law and order,” he added, according to the Kenosha News. “Mr. Cassoday exemplified what it means to be a resident of Porter County. We will be honoring him in the near future.”