Good Samaritan comes to trooper’s aid after spotting struggle along highway

Posted at 9:12 PM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-08 21:12:48-05

LAFAYETTE COUNTY, Mo. -- When Charles Barney saw a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper struggling on the ground with another man Tuesday morning, he didn't hesitate to help, officials said.

The incident happened after Trooper Beau Ryun stopped a driver along eastbound Interstate 70, near the small town of Higginsville, Missouri.

Trooper Ryun said he had asked the man he pulled over, 22-year-old Jonathan Timmons, to step out and walk to his patrol car. “He was overly nervous, and I smelled the odor of marijuana,” Ryun said. The trooper said he tried to pat Timmons down to see if he had any weapons and attempted to put him in handcuffs when Timmons began resisting.

The traffic stop escalated and “we began fighting on the side of the interstate,” Ryun said.

Barney, 38, was headed to a funeral that morning when he spotted Ryun and Timmons.

“Happened to see lights on the side of the road, and my fiancee told me that there was an officer fighting a guy on the ground,” Barney told WDAF.

“That guy was just fighting and screaming," Barney said. "He just kept resisting, kept resisting.”

Trooper Ryun said his radio stopped working as he fought to arrest Timmons, leaving him unable contact dispatchers at headquarters in Lee's Summit.

“I noticed the cop's arms were just shaking," Barney recalled, "He needed to call for backup, so I got on the mic, or the (patrol car) CB, and told them I was helping this officer, he needed help ASAP,” Barney said.

Barney said he did what he could to help subdue Timmons. “I finally just grabbed his arm and bent it back over his head, and I told him, I said, 'Man, if you don't stop, I'll break it.'”

Eventually officers started showing up, Timmons finally gave up, and Trooper Ryun and Barney got him handcuffed. Trooper Ryun said he found out later that Higginsville police and the Lafayette County Sheriffs Department received several 911 calls reporting the fight.

“I'm just extremely grateful for them stopping, and all the people that called and reported the altercation because you were my lifeline to Troop A,” said Ryun.  "One of the best feelings of my life was seeing them showing up to help me."

Trooper Ryun said he plans to submit the names of the two people who stopped so they can be publicly recognized for helping him.

Timmons faces second degree assault, attempt to disarm a law enforcement officer, third degree assault, felony resisting, possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana, and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia. On Wednesday night he was behind bars in the Lafayette County Jail on a 24-hour hold.