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A Utah man said he bought a gun to protect himself and his family, but he ended up doing a lot more than that last week.

“I carry a gun to protect me and those around me, but primarily I carry a gun to protect my family first and foremost,” Dakota Meyer told KSTU. “Outside of that, if I were to use my gun to protect anyone it would be law enforcement or military personnel.”

And that’s exactly what he did when he saw Paul Douglas Anderson punching a Springville police officer.

An officer saw Anderson’s feet dangling from a donation bin. When asked to get out of it, Anderson hopped down, but kept his hands in his pockets. The officer asked Anderson to remove his hands just in case he had a weapon. When he finally removed them, he began to punch the officer.

Meyer was driving in the area when he passed the scene. He decided to make a U-turn, drove back to spot and got out intending to help the officer.

After getting out of the vehicle, Meyer pulled out his gun and pointed it to Anderson. He told him to let the officer go.

Anderson saw the gun and ran away.

“Had he not been in the right place at the right time, who knows what would have happened,” thanked Corporal Cory Waters. “But he definitely stopped the attack from continuing and becoming much worse. He might have even saved either one of their lives. It could have gone really bad, even for the suspect.”

Still, Waters warned that in such a situation, the officer might have reacted to the appearance of a gun.

As for Meyer, he says he stepped in because it’s who he was, not to “get any extra attention or to have people talk about me or anything I did.” That said, he was happy that there was another story out there of responsible gun ownership.

Anderson was found under a flatbed trailer and arrested. He faces several charges for the incident and is said to be a familiar face to Spanish Fork police.

The officer was hospitalized and subsequently released for injuries sustained in the attack. Though he is expected to be okay, he has a fractured eye socket and lacerations around his eye.

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Zuri Davis About the author:
Zuri Davis is a media writer for Rare. Follow her on Twitter @RiEleDavis.
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