Updated: 11:39 a.m. Monday, June 30, 2014 | Posted: 11:39 a.m. Monday, June 30, 2014

Watch as two bystanders help officer under attack

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Franklin Division of Police photo
Franklin Division of Police
Watch as two bystanders help officer under attack

By Lot Tan

Dayton Daily News

FRANKLIN, Ohio —

Two Ohio men rushed to help a police officer under attack by a "dangerous criminal" Saturday.

Officer Christopher Keene spotted 41-year-old Charles Cole just after 3 p.m. while Franklin police were searching the area for a suspect who had just burglarized a nearby home.

Franklin police Lt. Brian Pacifico said Keene spotted Cole and attempted to talk to him.

"Male turns to run, officer Keene goes to give chase, the male turns around, where he punches officer Keene in the face twice," Pacifico said. "Male jumps on top of officer Keene and fight went from there. They rolled around for a minute."

Seconds later, Benjamin Lawson, 33, and Levi Miniard, 19, ran over to help the officer subdue his assailant.

"Mr. Cole was on top of officer Keene. It looked like he was hitting him pretty hard because he had a cut on the side of his face. His lips were blue from how many times he had been punched," Miniard said. "It was crazy."

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"It feels good but I just feel like it's not even that he was an officer, it's just if you see anyone in the streets getting hurt you should try to help and not just stand there and record stuff on your phone," Miniard added.

Miniard's mother, Nova Peters, was also at the scene. "I'm very blessed to have a child that takes something like that so seriously if he could do something to help one of the officers because they protect us," Peters said.

Keene suffered a gash across the side of his head, a black eye and a strained neck, according to police. He was treated and released from Sycamore Hospital.

According to a police report, a woman called police to say Cole "entered her residence uninvited." She told officers Cole left her home a short time later. No items were stolen.

Cole, of Franklin, was admitted for a 72-hour evaluation at Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, Ohio. Once released, police said he'll be booked into the Warren County Jail on felony charges of burglary, assault on a police officer and obstructing official business. He also faces possible drug-related charges. Pacifico said officers found two substances in his pants pocket that will be sent to a lab.

Chief Russ Whitman praised Lawson and Miniard for rushing to the officer's assistance.

"It is really nice to know that if any of my officers are in danger, our citizens will step up and help an officer," the chief said in the release. "This is just one of many reasons why I love this town."

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