Springville, Utah — It was 1:57 p.m. when a police officer (who has not been named) stopped to investigate a donation box used primarily to distribute food and supplies to those in need. A man named Paul Anderson got out of the box with his hands in his pockets. The officer directed the man to remove his hands from his pockets to ensure that he was unarmed, and eventually the man complied — in order to attack the officer, punching him over and over. Police Spokesman Cpl. Cory Waters said that the officer’s orbital eye socket was fractured and that he had multiple lacerations on his face.

Just then, Derek Meyer happened to be driving by. He saw the police lights and he saw Anderson on top of the officer, beating him. Meyer swung the car around, exited the vehicle and drew his pistol. He legally carries and told FOX news that, “I carry a gun to protect me and those around me, but primarily I carry a gun to protect my family first and foremost … Outside of that, if I were to use my gun to protect anyone it would be law enforcement or military personnel.”

Meyer instructed Anderson to get off the officer, and he did once he saw the gun. Anderson ran and would be caught later, hiding from the search party. He would be booked and in jail by around 4:30 p.m.  Anderson was charged with several things, including criminal mischief, failure to stop at the officer’s command, interference with his arrest, the burglary of a vehicle, theft and of course, aggravated assault.

Paul Anderson, now in jail. | Utah County Sheriff’s Office

It is difficult to say whether or not Anderson would have killed the officer, but beating someone to death is not uncommon, and is easier than many think. The human skull on the ground is not all that tough. A strike to the pavement, a direct, hard punch to the nose, or a serious concussion could have meant severe, if not fatal injuries to the officer. However, instead of finding out, the officer is in the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, thanks to Meyer.

Meyer told FOX that he didn’t do it “to get any extra attention or to have people talk about me or anything I did,” but that he wants to share “good stories from responsible, gun-owning people.”


Featured image courtesy of the Associated Press.