Denham Springs officials are raising funds for a good Samaritan who risked his life, broke his ankle and lost his job after helping an officer capture a suspect who tried to take the officer’s gun.
Mayor Gerard Landry said Officer Halie Alexander was responding to a disturbance call at an area hotel on March 12, when she was pointed toward a man sleeping in a car in the hotel parking lot. When Alexander approached the vehicle, the man woke and bolted from the car, Landry said.
Gordon Simoneaux, who was at the hotel pool with his child for a birthday party, ran after the man who was approaching the pool area and attempted to detain him for the officer, Landry said.
“All three of them end up tussling on the ground, with Officer Alexander on bottom, the guy on top of her and then Simoneaux on top,” Landry said. “She’s trying to get to her cuffs, and the guy reaches for her gun.”
Simoneaux was able to keep the man from reaching the gun until he could be cuffed, but Simoneaux’s ankle was broken during the struggle, Landry said.
The ankle required seven pins and a metal plate, and Simoneaux lost his trucking job as a result of the recovery time — five weeks already, with several more to go, Landry said.
“If he can’t shift, he can’t drive, and if he can’t drive, he can’t work,” Landry said.
The mayor said there is no mechanism in place for the city to repay a man like Simoneaux for his help, so city officials reached out to Friends of the Denham Springs Police, an organization that accepts donations on behalf of fallen or injured officers for the benefit of their families.
The group, along with Landry and the City Council, presented Simoneaux with a check for $1,000 during the council’s April 12 meeting, but Landry hopes the city’s residents will help them do more.
Accounts have been established at First Guaranty Bank and at Capital Bank in Simoneaux’s name, and a donation page was set up at www.gofundme.com/rpwb788k. The GoFundMe account has raised more than $1,000.