SOLANO COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) - Two East Bay men are being hailed as heroes for helping save a female CHP officer who was being assaulted by a driver along a freeway shoulder in Solano County over the weekend.
Witnesses say the driver was beating the officer along Interstate 80 westbound in American Canyon when a 61-year-old former linebacker, former cop and Greg Bunting, a 52-year-old motorcycle mechanic, jumped in to help.
The incident happened around 8:30 Saturday morning.
Witnesses say the suspect was actually reaching for the officers's gun when the two men, strangers to each other, came to the officer's aid.
"[The suspect] punched her, hit her repeatedly, beat her to the ground and started stomping her," said Joel Jones, a retired San Francisco County sheriff's deputy who played football for Drake University.
Jones and his wife Annalisa had seen the driver, later identified as 49-year-old Gary Coslovich, weaving in and out of traffic along I-80 in Fairfield. They said he smashed into two cars going 80 miles an hour, causing those drivers to spin out. The couple, who runs a church called Spirit of Truth Church Worldwide out of
Jones, the pastor of a church in Crockett, decided to follow the erratic driver.
They said he drove over to the shoulder when a CHP officer pulled him over, but when Coslovich saw it was a female officer, Jones said he flipped out.
"He was like, 'No, No, I'm not doing this!'" said Jones throwing his hands up. "It was surreal, it was like I was about to see a murder in front of me... what are you going to do about it?"
The Joneses said Coslovich savagely attacked the officer.
"I thought he was going to take her gun. He was at her waist midsection. I told my wife, I said stay here and I said, 'Lord be with me,'" said Jones.
The pastor relied on his skills as a former college linebacker and retired cop, knocking the suspect clear off his feet, five feet away.
Jones' wife said she was praying for the officer.
"I saw her crawling and then I saw her trying to get up and so I said is this really happening?" said Annalisa Jones.
"It's hard to see a woman hit by a man," said Bunting, a motorcycle mechanic who works in Vallejo. The father of two also happened to be driving by at the same time and stopped to help. "To see that was--- uh, there's no words to describe it except for it was sick."
The pair of Good Samaritans held down Coslovich until law enforcement arrived.
"I think god puts us in places for a reason," said Bunting, who was once a youth minister himself.
KTVU's Tara Moriarty asked the daring duo what they thought of people calling them heroes.
"I'm no hero, I'm a servant," said Jones. "I'm no hero no more than anybody else."
"We're no superheroes," agreed Bunting. "But when it comes to- it's time help out, let's do this!"
Coslovich's court date in Solano County court was held over until Friday.
He faces assault and battery charges against a peace officer.
Santa Clara County officials say Coslovich was fired last month from his job as a painter for Santa Clara County and is also accused of ramming his truck into a county building back in May.
Coslovich at the time said he was upset that San Jose, which is a sanctuary city, was butting heads with President Trump's policies on immigration.
The officer, whose name has not been released, was treated at the hospital for moderate injuries.
Solano County CHP tells KTVU that they will be awarding Jones and Bunting for their bravery.