Jefferson Citians honored for assisting officer

Three local residents were honored Tuesday night for helping a Jefferson City police officer during a struggle with a suspect in January.

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Paul Gash, president of the Jefferson City Police Officers Association, awards Mike Ballard a plaque for his bravery in helping an officer during a fight after a traffic stop gone awry.

Members of the Jefferson City Police Officers Association, Fraternal Order of Police 19, gave plaques to Teresa Cook and her son James, along with Mike Ballard, for helping officer J.M. Thomas, who was trying to bring a suspect under control in the 900 block of Rock Hill Road on the afternoon of Jan. 18.

Quentin Michael Davis, Jefferson City, was stopped by Thomas, who saw Davis’ truck lock its brakes and swerve to avoid hitting a vehicle that had stopped in front of him.

Davis exited his truck after being told to get back in the vehicle.

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Police officers applaud James and Teresa Cook and Mike Ballard for their bravery helping a police officer wrangle a suspect during a traffic stop.

“I could tell that Davis was under the influence of something due to his actions and speech being incoherent,” Thomas wrote in a probable cause statement.

After Davis acknowledged he didn’t have a driver’s license and exited the vehicle again, Thomas tried to handcuff the suspect, who walked away after being ordered to put his hands behind his back. Davis continued resisting arrest, then began wrestling with the officer.

That was when the Cooks drove past.

“We were going to my daughter’s basketball game and saw the officer down on the ground with this other man,” James Cook said.

He and his mother drove back, and he tried to get Davis off of Thomas.

Driving home from work, Ballard stopped shortly thereafter and also tried to help Thomas.

Eventually, Teresa Cook got out and used the radio in Thomas’ police car to call for assistance.

“It was scary,” she said. “I was scared for my son and for the officer.”

A second officer arrived and helped put Davis under arrest.

The officers and residents sustained minor injuries, police said.

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