San Francisco police thank homeless man who came to officer's aid

Ryan Raso came to the aid of an officer who was attacked during an arrest.
August 30, 2013 8:54:06 PM PDT
Officers at a San Francisco police station Friday thanked a homeless man who came to the aid of a colleague who was attacked when she tried to make an arrest.

After four days of looking for Ryan Raso, police at Ingleside Station finally found him. The 35-year-old was a wanted man; not as a suspect, but as a hero.

"An officer was being beaten up, a human; so I just did what's right, you know," Raso said.

It happened Monday evening, just after 7 p.m. A woman was causing trouble near the 4700 block of Mission Street.

"One of our officers responded to the report of a woman jumping up and down on cars, denting them, vandalizing them," Sgt. Eli Turner said.

Turner says the female officer was alone. The officer tried to calm the woman, who was much bigger than she is. Investigators say she became agitated and aggressive when the officer tried to arrest her.

Police say the woman then attacked the officer.

Raso was just crossing the street.

"The person had the officer kind of in a choke hold, was kind of, had the officer against the wall, kind of banging, beating her head into the wall," Raso said.

A small crowd stood by and watched.

"A law enforcement officer is saying, 'help me, help me' when there's no one else around doing anything," Raso said.

Raso says when the woman went for the officer's gun, he grabbed her and wrestled her down until other police arrived.

Investigators learned more about Raso when they talked to him. They found out his father was a former detective and that he was down on his luck.

He has been homeless; he's had a rough time in recent months," Turner said. "We wanted to reach out to him and let him know he has friends.

Cops at the station will try to find him shelter if he still needs it. And they chipped in to buy him new headphones, which were broken when he subdued the attacker.

Raso says his father, who was a New York City cop, would be proud of him.


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