By Velena Jones

MODESTO (CBS13) – A man is behind bars tonight after shocking video shows the man fighting a Modesto police officer as the officer tries to detain him.

At first, the video shows the two fighting each other to the ground without anyone around, and seconds later, a group of Good Samaritans jump in to help.

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“There was an officer and three others. Each person had a limb holding him down,” explained witness Mark Davis.

Security footage shows the bystanders’ bloody brawl as three people take down the suspect after he tackled the officer to the ground.

“It almost brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it,” said Davis.

Video shows the moments leading up to the fight when the officer responded to a possible car break-in near a convenience store Tuesday afternoon. The officer tried to detain the man, identified as 31-year old Daniel Steffens. Steffens complies at first, then begins to resist. When the officer begins to pat Steffens down, that is when police say he attempts to take the officer’s taser and then his gun.

Good Samaritans came from all directions as they heard the officer scream for help. Davis witnessed the aftermath.

“His holster was actually hanging down and he had broken two of the safety restraints that keep someone from taking an officer’s gun,” he explained.

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Davis runs the Modesto News Facebook page and heard police dispatch calls for help, witnessing the Good Samaritans on top of the man. He took photos of the bloody man police arrested.

A woman and two men helped grab the suspect and took his hand away from the officer’s gun, according to police. Davis spoke with one of the people who jumped in to help after the situation was over.

“This girl puts him in a chokehold and that’s what it took to take the guy down and to help that officer. I don’t know if the officer would have gone home to his family that night if that guy would’ve been able to get his gun,” explained Davis.

The video shows Steffens walking into a convenience store on Yosemite Boulevard minutes before the fight.

“He got it partially out of the holster but security measures that the holster has kept it from coming out,” Sharon Bear, Modesto police spokesperson, said of the officer’s gun.

It was a close call prompting Modesto police to thank the people they serve and protect for protecting them.

“We just want to say ‘Thank you.’ We appreciate you assisting our officer, helping keep him safe and our community. We don’t know what kind of tragedy could have occurred,” Bear said.

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The officer is doing OK walking away with a couple of bruises. Steffens is being held on a $1 million bail. He is facing charges of attempted murder, resisting arrest and attempting to take a firearm while resisting arrest.

Velena Jones