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Police: Passerby stopped after seeing Eugene officer in struggle with suspect

Police took Christopher Leonard Johnson, 32, into custody on a charge of Assault on a Police Officer, as well as an outstanding warrant, police said. (Lane County Jail mugshot)

EUGENE, Ore. - A passerby turned his car around and stopped to help after seeing a Eugene Police officer in a physical confrontation with a suspect Thursday evening, the police department said.

The situation started when "Officer Jeremy Greene was flagged down by a member of the public at 5:17 p.m.," police said, "after a man was observed behaving erratically in the area of Maxwell and Grove."

Officer Greene made contact with the man, later identified as 32-year-old Christopher Leonard Johnson

"Johnson immediately was uncooperative," police said. "Officer Greene tried to get Johnson to sit down, and Johnson refused. As Officer Greene attempted to assist Johnson to a seated position, Johnson resisted and then tried to grab Officer Greene around the neck. During the struggle, Officer Greene ended up on the ground with Johnson on top of him. Officer Greene was able to maneuver and create distance and then draw and use his taser, which was successful in gaining control of Johnson."

As the officer struggled with Johnson, a passing 53-year-old Eugene man turned his vehicle around and stopped to assist until additional police units arrived, Eugene Police said.

Police did not release the man's name after attempts to contact him for permission to do so were unsuccessful.

Officers took Johnson into custody on a charge of Assault on a Police Officer, as well as an outstanding warrant, police said.

During this incident, a 53-year-old man from Eugene, saw the struggle and turned his vehicle around and stopped to help Officer Greene until responding cover units could arrive.

Johnson was charged with Assault on a Police Officer and taken into custody on a warrant.

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