Bremerton Officer Spencer Berntsen Thankfully Saved By Citizen Heroes

Bremerton Police Officer Spencer Berntsen was attacked and a citizen hero came to his aid.

Bremerton Police Officer Spencer Berntsen was attacked and a citizen hero came to his aid.

Bremerton Officer Spencer Berntsen Thankfully Saved By Citizen Heroes

Bremerton, Washington – Bremerton Police Officer Spencer Berntsen is lucky to be alive and thankful for the help of civilian heroes after a dangerous altercation with a violent felon Wednesday morning. Cellphone cameras captured the encounter.

According to KOMONews, Officer Berntsen responded to a disturbance at a local shopping plaza after a 911 call reporting that someone had broken out the window of a nearby restaurant. Upon Officer Berntsen’s arrival, he found the suspect and approached him.

“I went up there to contact him and he was not listening to my verbal commands and not compliant,” Officer Berntsen told KOMO. The suspect, later identified as Kenneth Lane, appeared agitated and quickly became aggressive with the officer.

“He got on the ground, then got up and that’s when I tried to deploy the taser,” Officer Berntsen said. “He literally blew cigarette smoke in my face and said, ‘Let’s go.'”

The officer’s taser malfunctioned, he lost his radio and the criminal quickly took control. Cellphone videos show the moment when Lane, a convicted felon with a long criminal history, attacked the officer. Lane, a much larger individual than the officer, initially had the upper hand during the fight. Officer Berntsen could have been knocked unconscious at any moment. The felon could have taken the officers firearm and we would be mourning yet another loss of a law enforcement officer.

Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan told Q13Fox, “An officer is one blow to the head away from becoming unconscious.”

It could have happened, but not that day. Another tragedy was averted because of the bravery of a passerby who took it upon himself to heroically join the fight, possibly saving the life of the officer and others in the area.

Watch cell phone videos of the attack here:

Kelly Bounds told KOMO that he only did what he thought was right. Bounds was seen on video rushing to the aid of the officer who was quickly being overtaken by the felon. “What I saw was somebody who was just viciously attacking somebody”, he said.

Hero Bounds threw several punches and he and a second, unidentified civilian hero eventually was able to help the officer subdue the violent offender.

“You know, it was time to step up and be a part of the community and try to change things,” said Bounds.

Chief Strachan considered the harm the encounter could have caused, “Whether it be an officer, the bystander or the suspect in this case”, he told KOMO. “This is a dangerous job at the end of the day and people say, ‘Well, why are officers so touchy? Why are officers so extremely careful when they encounter somebody?’ This is why – because there are people who are willing to violently attack a police officer”.

Officer Berntsen said that he didn’t even fully remember the attack and that the cell phone video helped explain to him why he was so sore. This highlights one of the issues that causes a divide among police and the public. Memory loss from combat is a normal occurrence.

We in law enforcement are thankful for the support of these citizen heroes who possibly saved the life of one of our brothers, and no one’s more thankful than Officer Berntsen himself. He took the opportunity to meet with Bounds on Friday to thank him.

“I’m very fortunate that I’m OK and that I got to go home that day,” Berntsen said.

Would you be ready to jump to an officer’s aid? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.