Man Credited With Saving Indiana Deputy's Life

The Monroe County Sheriff's Department is crediting a man for saving Deputy Beverly McKnight.


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Monroe County Sheriff's Department is crediting a Bloomington man for saving a deputy's life.

Joe Archer was mowing his lawn near the corner of 7th and Adams streets on Thursday, just feet from where sheriff's Deputy Beverly McKnight was struggling with suspect Brandon Helms, 27, en route to the Monroe County Jail.

Detectives said Helms somehow got his handcuffs in front of his body while in a seat belt in the back of McKnight's SUV. He was able to get his arms around McKnight's neck, then went for her gun.

The gun went off, narrowly missing Deputy McKnight's leg.

Archer, who spoke exclusively to RTV6's Tanya Spencer on Friday, said he heard McKnight scream and rushed to help.

"I opened the door and jumped on (Helm's) back. I put him in a headlock and pried him off (McKnight)," Archer said.

Archer tore a ligament in his hand during the violent struggle and said he heard Helms tell the deputy she "Wouldn't get out of the car alive."

Archer said he reacted, not even knowing if Helms was armed.

"A hero for the day, I guess for now. I'm just happy I didn't get my tail shot off," he said.

Archer said McKnight, her husband and their three children personally thanked him for his brave actions.

Monroe County Sheriff's Department officials also commended Archer and said they expect he'll be formally recognized by the sheriff.

Helms is being held without bond on preliminary charges of attempted murder.

Deputy McKnight is recovering from injuries to her neck and body.

Copyright 2012 by TheIndyChannel.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Enhance your experience.

    Thank you for your regular readership of and visits to Officer.com. To continue viewing content on this site, please take a few moments to fill out the form below and register on this website.

    Registration is required to help ensure your access to featured content, and to maintain control of access to content that may be sensitive in nature to law enforcement.