An Atlanta police officer was hurt late Wednesday morning when she was attacked by a man in the middle of the street, officials said.
Police were called to Martin Luther King Drive near Philips Arena at about 11:30 a.m. Investigators said Officer Navada Stucking was driving toward police headquarters when the man started kicking her police car.
"He appeared to be demented," said Capt. Barry Shaw. "She pepper sprayed him, and it didn't have any effect on the guy at all."
Michael Reed was driving his truck on Techwood Drive, saw the attack and decided to help.
"He just kept hitting her and hitting her and hitting her in the head," Reed told Channel 2's Erin Coleman. "He grabbed her hair and I had already got out of the vehicle when he grabbed her. By the time I got there, he had beat her down to the ground. That's when I tackled him and I held him," Reed said.
Stucking was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with several bruises, police said. Reed suffered a few cuts on his hands.
"We were so fortunate to have this man on the scene. He was a blessing, a blessing in disguise," Shaw told Coleman.
Police detained the suspect, Efrem Thurmond, on the side of the road. Officers repeatedly doused the man with water while they tended to the officer in near 100-degree temperatures. He was taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation.
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