ONLY ON 12: Good Samaritan awarded for helping THP trooper

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Tennessee Highway Patrol honored an Atlanta man Friday for assisting a trooper in distress back in November.

However, for Paul Zurbrugg, November 25 was just another day.

“My first instinct was just to help the trooper out. That’s all I was concerned with. I wasn’t worried about anything else,” said Zurbrugg, who was traveling from Ohio to Georgia at the time.

Zurbrugg and his son were driving on I-75 headed back to Cumming, Georgia, after watching their Ohio State Buckeyes stomp on rival Michigan a couple days before.

That’s when they saw a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper tumble down the side of the interstate attempting to arrest a rape suspect.

“When I saw them rolling down the hill, I slammed on my brakes and said, ‘Come on, son. We have to help this officer out.'” Zurbrugg said. “He got out of the truck, and when I looked back his eyes were as big as saucers, and he was just standing at the truck looking.”

“As few and far in between as fights I’ve had, that was one of the more intense ones,” THP Trooper Phillip Reagan said. “He actually struck me in the face, and I sustained injuries at that time.”

Zurbrugg helped subdue and handcuff the suspect. Trooper Reagan needed three staples in his head after the fight.

“Most of the time nobody stops to help. Everybody’s video taping everybody,” Zurbrugg said. “My first instinct was to help the trooper. I was more worried for him than anybody. That’s why I stopped.”

“For somebody to come and help me and to help law enforcement in a time where most law enforcement officers are looked down upon, it is a real big deal. I mean, it kind of encourages you to go out and do your job some more,” Trooper Reagan said.

Zurbrugg received an official commissioner’s commendation for his actions.

Categories: Bradley County, Chattanooga, Featured, Local News

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