Lakeport man credited with helping subdue suspect

Lakeport police officials Saturday praised a citizen for jumping a suspect fighting with a police officer.

The citizen, Mauro Lopez, 38, was driving and stopped when he saw Officer Joe Eastham and suspect Joseph Taylor, 40, of Lucerne fighting Friday afternoon, Chief Brad Rasmussen said in a release issued Saturday.

Lopez tackled Taylor from behind, taking him by surprise. The tackle knocked Taylor to the ground, and the officer was able to handcuff him.

"Although we strongly discourage and recommend against citizens from attempting to assist in these types of situations for their own safety and protection, we do appreciate, thank and commend Mr. Lopez for his actions in helping to take Taylor into custody quickly and safely without injury to himself or Officer Eastham," wrote Rasmussen.

The officer crossed paths with Taylor, who is well known to Lakeport police, at about 5 p.m. Friday near North Main and Third streets.

Taylor reportedly was acting erratically, blocking traffic and peeling off clothing and was suspected of being under the influence of drugs, the chief said.

The suspect wouldn't comply with the officer's orders. The officer threatened to use a Taser on the man, gaining cooperation briefly, when he began resisting again - including threatening to kill the officer and struggling with him in a physical altercation.

The officer had backed away and was going to use his Taser on the man when Lopez. a Lake County resident, joined the effort.

Other officers arrived and helped take Taylor into a patrol car.

He was arrested on suspicion of felony resisting arrest and making threats against the officer and being under the influence of drugs.

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