The video recorded using a cell phone starts off with Weslaco, Texas, resident Glenda Ramos saying “Babe, help him.”
Her boyfriend, Joey Marines, responded: “Should I get down and help him?”
The couple was on their way to a family outing Monday afternoon when they saw a Weslaco police officer struggling with a man next to city hall, our affiliate KGBT reported.
"We got closer and I saw him struggling with the guy, like they were just flinging their arms around fighting back and forth,” Ramos said.
After watching the struggle for a few seconds, Marines jumps in to help but does so hesitantly.
"I was kinda — a little bit hesitant, you know to get down, you know with the traffic and all for me to get down. So, I was like 'he's a cop, maybe he can handle it, 'but they were struggling for a while. So I was like 'you know what? I better get down and help them,” Marines said.
Marines might have hesitated, but he quickly sprang to action. Weslaco police say it a right he has in the state of Texas.
"We can't force you to get up and assist us, but there is a state law though that we are able to assist us in a case like that,” said Officer Eric Hernandez, a spokesman for the Weslaco Police Department.
According to Texas law: “Whenever a peace officer meets with resistance in discharging any duty imposed upon him by law, he shall summon a sufficient number of citizens of his county to overcome the resistance; and all persons summoned are bound to obey.”
In this incident, as Marines moves closer, he walks where the police officer can see him. He doesn't take action until the officer directs him to help.
"What I was thinking like, I didn't want the cop to think I'm trying to help the other guy, while I'm on his side. I want the cop to not get hurt either. Or the both sides, I don't want the guy to get hurt either,” Marines said.
Weslaco police ask anyone who wants to help an officer to follow that example.
"When a citizen approaches the situation they need to be very cautious of it. You don't know whether the subject's armed, you don't know whether he already has hold of a weapon,” Hernandez said. “So when you approach a situation like that what we recommend is try to get the officer's attention and ask 'officer, do you need my assistance?' That way the officer knows that you're there to help him, not assist the other individual."