Good Samaritan rushes to save CHP officer trapped in headlock, viral video shows

The Good Samaritan, Everardo Navarro, spoke to Eyewitness News about his interaction.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Good Samaritan saves CHP officer trapped in headlock in viral video
Video shows a good Samaritan rushing to save a CHP officer trapped in a headlock in Orange County.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Everardo Navarro was on his way to an event in Orange County on Friday when he saw a confrontation between a man and a CHP officer.

Navarro, seeing the CHP officer in trouble, pulled over and then rushed to aid the officer. In what has now become a viral video, Navarro runs over and starts punching the man who put a CHP officer in a headlock.

The altercation occurred after the CHP officer gave the man a verbal warning for bending freeway signs on the Main Street on-ramp to the northbound Interstate 5 (I-5). The officer, the CHP says, was walking back to his patrol vehicle when the man attacked him.

"I was just assuming the officer was making an arrest in that moment," Navarro told Eyewitness News.

Navarro said his actions were fueled by instinct.

"When I actually get there, for a split second I didn't know what to do. I just punched the guy in the ribs," he said.

The initial blow did not work. The officer was still in a headlock.

But Navarro, worried the officer would lose control of his weapon, focused on freeing the headlock. And he did.

He said it wasn't until later that he realized all of the different ways that day could've gone wrong.

"I was not able to take it out of my mind. I was going to a place and all I can think (of) is my kids," Navarro said.

Navarro hasn't quite figured out why he had that instinct, but the CHP is sure glad he did.

"It's not very often that you see something like that. Usually, it's just people recording and standing by. But I just want to thank those three good Samaritans for helping out our officer," said Anselmo Templado, a CHP public information officer.

Despite realizing the danger he put himself in, Navarro is still happy he intervened as well.

"I jumped out of my car because of him, but in the end I was thankful everybody was okay, including the suspect," he said.

The man who attacked the CHP officer was arrested once the altercation ended.

The suspect was booked into the Orange County jail on assault with a peace officer and resisting arrest charges.