Citizen assists EPD officer with arrest

Press release from the Eureka Police Department:

On Monday, at about 10:25 a.m., an officer with the Eureka Police Department contacted a subject who was under the influence of narcotics in front of a business on the 1600 block of F street. The subject, Jason Gower (23) of Eureka, attempted to leave the location after admitting to being on felony probation for narcotics. Gower also had two felony warrants for his arrest, was in possession of drug paraphernalia, and was in possession of stolen property from a recent vehicle burglary.

The officer attempted to detain Gower but he resisted and wrestled with the officer on the sidewalk for just over two minutes. One citizen, later identified as Jonathan E. Hening took it upon himself to answer the officer's call for assistance and asked what he could do to help. Mr. Hening was directed to hold Gower's legs down. The officer warned Mr. Hening that he was about to deploy OC spray. Mr. Hening maintained his position on Gower's legs, putting himself in harm's way. Gower was taken into custody when a second officer arrived on scene. Gower assaulted the officer by trying to break the officer's fingers bending them backwards, causing injury. The officer was treated and released from St. Joseph's Hospital.

From the officer: "Jonathan Hening's actions represent a character and compassion not often encountered by our officers in such situations. Mr. Hening owed me nothing during this incident, but took it upon himself to answer a call for assistance by a police officer involved in a violent altercation with a wanted and combative suspect. Mr. Hening's moral character can be seen in the video recording, as he remained on scene with officers until he was certain everyone was alright. I later learned that Mr. Hening casually left the location in somewhat of a hurry as he was about to be late to a work-related appointment. It is my belief that Mr. Hening's actions should be recognized by our department through a citizen commendation award. Mr. Hening is a valued member of the Eureka community; and a decent, honorable and well-meaning individual."

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