While driving toward Blythe one early morning, Correctional Officer Harold Gaskill saw a police officer struggling with a suspect on the side of the freeway. He pulled over, removed the cover shirt concealing his uniform, and rushed to help. Three other people were sitting on the ground near the car. Meanwhile, the Blythe officer was alone.
The officer pulled a vehicle over on Interstate 10. Conducting a consent search, he found a loaded handgun and possible drugs. While placing one in custody, the juvenile began struggling. That’s when Gaskill happened to drive by and didn’t hesitate to help.
When the police officer saw Gaskill approaching, he shouted there was a gun on the road near the three people. He asked Gaskill to cover them while he struggled to handcuff his suspect.
Due to the gun presenting potential imminent threat to the Officer and himself, Gaskill drew his personal off-duty weapon. Covering the people near the car, he waited until Blythe back-up officers arrived and took custody of the individuals.
A Blythe Police Sergeant arrived and thanked Gaskill for assisting the Officer.
Correctional officer’s quick actions earn praise
“Had it not been for the actions of Officer Gaskill arriving to assist the Blythe Officer and placing himself at risk, the circumstances could have taken a devastating turn. The Officer was outnumbered four to one and a gun was involved,” according to a statement issued by Ironwood State Prison. “Officer Gaskill’s actions are to be commended. His actions are an example of honoring the Peace Officer’s Oath to serve and protect, demonstrating the highest values of CDCR.”
The Blythe Police Department issued a press release, stating the juvenile was arrested on weapon and drug charges. The incident happened April 19 at 7:40 am.
“During a consent search of the vehicle, one male juvenile was found to be in possession of a loaded 9mm Ruger handgun, 23 grams of suspected methamphetamine, and 6 grams of suspected black market marijuana,” the press release states.
By Lieutenant H. Mora