INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The Independence Police Department is recognizing two men who stepped in to help officers in the latest incident at a troubled mall.
In new video from inside Independence Center Sunday, one can see a couple men are fighting when another man literally jumps into action and subdues both of them.
That Good Samaritan was 57-year-old Marine Corps veteran Arthur Whittaker.
“I had taken two of the gentleman away from the scene and try to calm them down,” Whittaker said.
He and former police officer Greg McQuade stepped in during the mall’s latest incident.
Police say it started with Rayvon Lewis holding a toy gun, even pointing it at a customer. The gun was fake, but the fear was real.
“I also saw a young lady with her three kids that were running towards the escalators, screaming, crying, panicked said the guy had a gun and was threatening to shoot people,” McQuade said. “So, my first instinct obviously was to get her and get the kids.”
McQuade led them safely into a store going on lockdown. Then, he and Whittaker helped police take the three men involved into custody.
Their help is why Independence Police Chief Brad Halsey wanted to recognize both of them Tuesday.
“This is a challenge coin for citizens that step up like you guys did and just another token of appreciation,” Halsey said.
Halsey gave them both a certificate and a challenge coin, but these men didn’t do this for the recognition. They’re just still public servants at heart. That’s a duty that really never goes away.
“If it shows to the community that you can get involved and that your fellow law enforcement officers in your community, to support them and to be behind them and that’s what’s important,” McQuade said. “And I think we should all do that.”