Law enforcement is at its best when police can rely on the support of the communities they serve to assist in their fight against crime. This cooperation between citizens and police can come in many forms, however, this week witnessed a profound instance of citizen support for law enforcement when a Right-to-Carry permit holder came to the defense a law enforcement officer in Lee County, Fla.
On the morning of November 14, Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy Dean Bardes and members of the Florida Highway Patrol were tending to an accident on Interstate 75 when a motorist nearly struck Bardes with his vehicle. The near miss prompted Bardes to pursue the motorist until he stopped at an off ramp.
Upon conclusion of the chase, the motorist exited his vehicle and physically attacked Bardes. During the altercation, the motorist tackled Bardes to the ground and got on top of him. As striking images of the encounter show, the driver then proceeded to viciously beat the officer. A witness to the assault described the scene to local media outlet WINK News, stating, “He threw the officer to the ground so violently. I mean it just it was awful. And he just started punching him and hitting and hitting and hitting. I thought he was going to kill him.”
As Bardes cried out for help, an armed Florida Concealed Weapon License holder happened upon the scene. The Right-to-Carry permit holder drew a gun and rushed from his vehicle to Bardes’ defense. The armed citizen repeatedly ordered the motorist to cease his assault. When the motorist continued to beat the deputy, the Right-to-Carry permit holder shot and killed the attacker.