WILLIAMS (CBS13) — He is a tow truck driver being hailed a hero on the highway for helping a CHP officer injured in a knife attack.
Christian Melendrez works for Selover’s Tow in Williams. On Friday night, he was driving Interstate 5 near Williams when he saw two bodies wrestling off the side of the interstate near a CHP patrol car. He pulled over to see if he could help.
“So I got out of the tow truck…once I got down, I was like, OK they’re really fighting,” Melendrez said. “I started running that way.”
Melendrez saw CHP Officer Philip Martinson in trouble.
“When I got there, the first thing he said was, ‘I’ve been stabbed, she stabbed me with a blade,’” Melendrez said.
Officer Martinson had been stabbed in the back allegedly by the woman he pulled over for speeding, 25-year-old Haile Neil, of Martinez. Melendrez pulled the officer’s handcuffs from his belt.
“He was like, ‘swing it on her,’ I was like, ‘okay,’” Melendrez said. “The first one I kind of struggled, the second one I was just, slap it on there.”
A police radio recording includes the call officer Martinson made to dispatch shortly after.
“I’m at Selover’s Tow,” Martinson said in the recording. “Here help me, dude. One female in custody. I’ve been stabbed in the back.”
“So afterward, when we had her under control, I started lifting up his vest and his shirt, and that’s when all the blood started coming out,” Melendrez said.
The incident could have ended much worse, if not for a tow truck operator showing no hesitation to help.
“Hero? Not really,” Melendrez said. “Did I help out a lot? Did I make a difference? I probably did.”
Martinson was flown to a trauma center but has been released and is expected to make a full recovery. Melendrez says he is now considering a career in law enforcement.