Bystander helps save Livingston County officer in struggle with knife-wielding man

Hamburg Township officer battles chase suspect for knife

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®, Derick Hutchinson

WHITMORE LAKE, Mich. - Every second counts when you're in a struggle with a knife-wielding man, but a simple twist of fate saved a Livingston County police officer's life.

People usually look to first responders to be lifesavers, but it was the other way around for one Hamburg Township officer.

A police chase went down Main Street and ended on the front lawn of a home in Whitmore Lake.

Sgt. Megan Paul tried to calm the man down when he got out of his red pickup truck and tried to get back inside. The two ended up battling over a knife the man had in his belt.

"We wrestled for 10 to 15 seconds," Paul said. "I had the knife in my hand, the handle, the butt of it. He was trying to get it from me."

Painter Ray Bolis had just picked up dinner at Polly's Market and saw the vehicle speed by. Curious, he rode his motorcycle in the same direction and found the two locked in a struggle.

"I put my hand on the suspect's neck and arm and told the officer, 'I'm here to help. What do you need?'" Bolis said. "At that point, she had said, 'Get the knife. Get the knife.'"

He said he couldn't find the knife, but Paul did, and threw it behind her.

"If he would have gotten hold of that knife, it would have ended very badly for one or both of us," Paul said.

There were two others helping Bolis and Paul, as well, and they subdued the man.

"It was definitely something I wouldn't want to see ever again, actually," Bolis said. "I'm glad it had a good outcome where nobody was hurt and the officer made it home to her family and kids, she told me."

"My husband and children thank them as well," Paul said.

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