Fort Worth

Legally blind man helps Fort Worth police officers subdue suspect during struggle

Video shows legally blind man helping officers subdue a suspect

Jim Walker, 57, a legally blind disability counselor, was nearby with his wife and his service dog when a struggle broke out between officers and two suspects. Body camera footage shows Walker helping officers subdue a suspect.
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Jim Walker, 57, a legally blind disability counselor, was nearby with his wife and his service dog when a struggle broke out between officers and two suspects. Body camera footage shows Walker helping officers subdue a suspect.

Two police officers trying to make an arrest got some assistance from a legally blind man.

The officers, David Woolbright and Matthew Brazeal, said they became involved in a struggle with two suspects while responding to a shots-fired call in the 3400 block of Cimmaron Trail early Saturday morning.

One of the suspects was armed, Woolbright said.

Jim Walker, 57, a legally blind disability counselor, said he was nearby with his wife and his service dog, Cassie, when the struggle broke out. The officers were acting in a professional and responsible manner and did not need his help, but he decided to help anyway, Walker said.

“It’s just the way all my friends are and the way I’ve always been,” Walker said. “You see someone who needs help and you help. It’s what the Bible calls on us to do.”

Walker helped disarm the suspect and then got on top of him, holding him down while the officers secured the gun and took the two suspects into custody, Woolbright said.

The officers had the men in handcuffs when the man Woolbright had custody of began to struggle with him, Woolbright said. Walker assisted until the gun was secured, Woolbright said.

“I didn’t know he (Walker) was there until he was right there,” Woolbright said. “Until he was climbing on top.”

While others were standing around watching and making video footage of an arrest on Saturday, Jim Walker helped subdue an armed suspect until officers could secure the weapon and make the scene safe for the public, police said.

Walker, who had been a police officer in another jurisdiction, said he ended his law enforcement career in the ‘80s when he realized his eyesight was failing. Walker said he was an applicant for the Fort Worth police academy when he withdrew his name from consideration.

Brazeal said Walker helped Woolbright subdue one of the suspects while other people were watching and shooting video.

“The kid didn’t ever stop fighting,” Brazeal said. “He was blind but he was more capable than anyone else there. He deserves probably all the recognition here. We were just doing our job.”

Wednesday, Walker was greeted and thanked by Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald.

Woolbright said it shows that people still want police there and are willing to put themselves in harm’s way to help.

“So many people don’t want to have anything to do with us,” Brazeal said.

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Mitch Mitchell is an award-winning reporter covering courts and crime for the Star-Telegram. Additionally, Mitch’s past coverage on municipal government, healthcare and social services beats allow him to bring experience and context to the stories he writes.
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