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Man Helps CHP Officer in Struggle

A California Highway Patrol officer got the chance to say thank you on Tuesday to a man who helped him out during a dangerous arrest.

Posted: Dec 11, 2018 6:37 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2018 10:02 AM

WHISKEYTOWN, Calif. - A California Highway Patrol officer got the chance to say thank you on Tuesday to a man who helped him out during a dangerous arrest. 

Tom Grisell was out with his daughter when he witnessed a struggle between a man and an officer. 

"She liked to drive to Whiskeytown as practice for her driving when we were pulling into the visitor center and I noticed that an officer was fighting with someone besides his car and they were really fighting hard, you know," Grisell said. 

This was the scene Grisell drove by with his teenage daughter last June.

Many people would have walked away or taken out their cell phones to capture video, but for Grisell, this was a moment to stand up and help an officer in need.

"By that time he had already had the suspect on the ground so I walked over and asked if he needed assistance," Grisell said. 

That's when CHP Officer Justin Zalesny asked him to grab the handcuffs the suspect had thrown during the fight.

To Grisell, he feels this wasn't a big deal, but to the officer waiting for backup, this was a thin line that could have ended badly.

"I know talking to him it was a small thing to do but to me and my family after coming home and explaining the situation, this guy made all the difference," Zalesney said. 

On Tuesday, the two reunited once again to say thank you and present Grisell with this certificate of appreciation, reminding him that in a world where many wouldn't do the right thing officers in Redding appreciate the act of bravery and kindness.

"Anyone not wearing a uniform, we would never ask them to stop what they're doing to help us but to know that sometimes they would want to and that they would do that safely, it's a huge testament that there are good people out there," Zalesny said. 

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