Last week a brave, young stranger did what many bystanders wouldn’t.
Const. Sasa Novakovic, with the Edmonton Police Service Northwest Traffic Unit, was working last Wednesday (Feb. 17, 2016) when he observed a male and female jaywalking across four-lanes of rush-hour traffic. Concerned for their safety, in the busy area of 111 Avenue and 95A Street, Const. Novakovic asked the individuals to return back to the side of the street they had crossed from.
When Const. Novakovic was able to approach the individuals and ask for their names, the male suspect, Gabriel Dumont, refused to comply with the officer’s request and was advised he would be arrested for obstruction. As Dumont continued to be uncooperative, Const. Novakovic attempted to arrest him, but was instead assaulted while Dumont’s female acquaintance fled the scene.
During the assault, a Good Samaritan named Eugene DeRose was driving by and witnessed the attack. He immediately stopped his vehicle in the middle of the road and ran over to pull Dumont off of Const. Novakovic, who was on the ground. Luckily, DeRose was able to hold Dumont down until the constable got back on his feet and made the arrest.
“I acted on pure adrenaline,” says DeRose. “I saw what was taking place… and without even thinking, I knew I had to jump in to prevent things from getting worse. I’m just glad I was able to help.”
Gabriel William Dumont, 27, has since been charged with obstructing a peace officer, resisting a peace officer, assaulting a peace officer and was issued a ticket for jaywalking ($250). Dumont is expected to make his next court appearance on March 4, 2016.
“As a police officer, you never expect an innocent bystander to take the law into their own hands,” says Const. Novakovic. “In this particular case, my family and I will be forever grateful for Eugene’s courageous act. He deserves to be commended. This truly attests to the relationship and mutual respect the Edmonton Police Service has with the community.”
Const. Novakovic is nominating DeRose for a Citizen Award through the Edmonton Police Commission in hopes of further recognizing him.
The Edmonton Police Commission Citizen Award acknowledges citizens who have demonstrated exemplary bravery by intervening in a crime in progress, assisting EPS in apprehending an offender or coming to the aid of a victim, and in doing so have prevented injury, trauma or death. Their meritorious actions have assisted the police in making our community a safer place to live, work and visit.