SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Residents who helped a police officer in a 2020 Walmart assault had been honored on Monday, as officers mentioned proposed laws on officer threats.
We previously reported officers had been known as to Walmart on Dorman Centre Drive a couple of disturbance and a combat in Aug. 2020.
The decision was later upgraded to an officer down name. The off-duty officer, Erin Hansen, was working safety for Walmart, when he was attacked by a suspect within the retailer, in response to Spartanburg Police.
In keeping with the Spartanburg County Solicitor’s Workplace, the person assaulted the uniformed metropolis police officer with out provocation because the officer stood close to the self-checkout line.
Police stated the person, later recognized as James Ray Cunningham, 22, of Woodruff, was charged within the incident.
A number of bystanders who witnessed the assault pulled Cunningham off the unconscious officer. The bystanders stopped the assault whereas others within the retailer known as 911. Cunningham punched a buyer a number of occasions earlier than fleeing the shop.
“We had residents that not solely stated one thing however they did one thing. They prevented him from additional harm and probably even the lack of his life,” stated Spartanburg Police Chief Alonzo Thompson.
On Monday, 4 of the residents who helped had been honored. They’re now recipients of the Invoice Barnet award for his or her heroic actions.
“All people is looking me a hero, however I simply did what was instinctual. You realize, I couldn’t see anyone being damage like that and simply watch,” stated William Sturdy, Invoice Barnet award recipient.
“I’m simply extraordinarily grateful, I imply, I owe them the world,” stated Officer Erin Hansen with the Spartanburg Police Division.
Solicitor Barry Barnette, Sheriff Chuck Wright and Spartanburg police Chief Alonzo Thompson hosted a press convention on Monday to honor the residents in addition to focus on a proposed laws to strengthen state legislation for offenders who threaten public officers. Spartanburg Rep. Max Hyde authored the laws.
At the moment, the state has a legislation for threatening a public official that carries as much as a five-thousand greenback high quality or as much as 5 years behind bars if convicted. Officers are actually pushing to extend that punishment with a brand new invoice if somebody takes motion on that risk to hurt others.
“We wish to ask our legislators, in addition to our governor to check out it and take a look at passing the invoice to get further safety to folks, our public staff and people who serve the folks, and we want that,” stated Solicitor Barry Barnette.
If the proposed invoice is handed, anybody discovered responsible of threatening and finishing up a risk may resist 30-years in jail.
“This have to be accompanied by an overt act. So, that’s what’s completely different about it and it have to be immediately associated to the general public officers’ public obligations,” defined Consultant Max Hyde, District 32, Spartanburg.
“It needs to be a extra enhanced penalty as a result of they’ve taken that further step to go ahead and to hold out a risk to really make it occur,” stated Barnette.
Steps are actually being taken so as to add this new distinction due to incidents much like the one which occurred final yr at Walmart in Spartanburg. The brand new legislation, if handed, may assist additional punish those that commit related crimes.
Consultant Max Hyde with the state says he’s hopeful that the proposed invoice might be an merchandise on the agenda for the Subcommittee on Prison Legal guidelines within the close to future.