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Bystanders take down man in Provo after he punched a police officer and tried to take his gun

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jul 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 00:23:54-04

PROVO, Utah -- Body camera footage shows a man reaching for an officer’s gun and punching the officer in the head before running off.

The video shows the dramatic ending when two bystanders jump in to help the officer arrest the man.

It was Tuesday when Officer Austin Williams went to the Sam’s Club in Provo to conduct a welfare check. Police got calls that a disoriented man was walking around asking people for water in the parking lot.

While welfare checks typically amount to nothing this one escalated quickly.

Officer Williams explained the moments when he first approached the man.

“He kind of looked at me and waved me off and I said do you need some water,” Senior Provo Police Department Officer Austin Williams said.

That's when the man, who we now know is Emiliano Medina, turned back.

“He quickly pointed at my side and made a gun motion with his hand and pointed it at his head,” Williams said.

That’s when the officer says the man stepped toward him, reaching for his gun.

“Being a dad the first things out of my mouth were don't touch that,” Williams said. “I kind of hesitated for a millisecond to go 'did that just happen' and then once I realized it did I had to take action at that point.”

While grabbing Medina's left arm, Medina used his right arm to punch officer Williams in the head.

“I tried to trip him and put him on the ground and as soon as he went down he pushed back up and at that point was able to pull away from my grasp,” Williams said.

Williams said he lunged toward Medina but he ran around him and started running through the gas pumps.

That's when a man in a white t-shirt near the pumps takes action.

“Right as he's catching up to the guy another guy comes around and kind of gets in his way and shoulder checks him and stops him,” Williams said.

Then the other man took Medina to the ground.

“I was like holy cow that was NFL hardest hits kind of stuff,” Williams said.

Had it not been for these men, Officer Williams likely wouldn't have been able to catch Medina because backup wasn't on the way.

“I had notified other officers that I needed help but it didn't come across the radio,” Williams said.

After eleven years of watching over Provo, Officer Williams is grateful to know the community has his back.

Provo Police are looking for the man in the white shirt so they can thank him.

As for Medina, police say he did have meth in his system and is now facing several charges including assaulting an officer.

Police say while going to the hospital Medina repeatedly said, “just kill me,” and when nurses spoke with him he had no idea what he had done.