DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - A Dallas Police officer is recovering from serious injuries, after he was attacked by a man suspected of being on a drug-induced rampage. The injuries may have been more serious, perhaps even life- threatening, had a homeless man not stepped in to stop the attack.
Video of the assault is working it's way up the chain of command at the Dallas Police Department. It shows Officer Billy Taylor waving a baton and backing up in retreat as a man believed to be high on PCP charged at him outside The Bridge shelter last Tuesday at Corsicana and Polk.
Wendy Poole says the man attacked her and other homeless bystanders as well.
"We were fearful at first when the guy pulled up in the SUV," says Poole.
Charles Alexander is one of several homeless who noticed the officer being beaten in the middle of the street. The former Crip gang leader is the last person you would expect to come to the officers' aid.
"He went straight for the officer, and the officer had his baton out," recalls Alexander. "But it wasn't doing any good because he was really pc'd out."
The 45-year-old homeless man ran into the street and pulled Samuel Jackson off the officer. He then body slammed the suspect just as other Dallas Police officers arrived.
Alexander is not seeking attention or appreciation for his actions. But he's deservedly getting it anyway.
"He's a good man and that was blessing what he did step up like that," says Andre Collins, another homeless man who witnessed the attack. "I think he's a hero. He saved us the officer."
Jackson faces charges of assaulting a public servant and Officer Taylor remains on medical leave with dislocated fingers among other injuries.
Alexander is back to his life of day jobs and roaming downtown without a home. He may not have found his place in society yet, but society has found a place for him. It was being the in right place at the right time when an officer was alone and in serious trouble.
"I think he would have been hurt," says Alexander. "He pulled up on me and he told me congratulations for helping him get out of the situation."
City council member Dwaine Caraway tells CBS 11 News he will make sure Alexander is recognized for his actions.
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