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Motorists stop to help Carroll County deputy being assaulted during traffic stop

Posted at 9:19 AM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 09:20:35-04

KEYMAR, Md. — Two motorists stopped to help a Carroll County Sheriff's deputy who was struggling to take a suspect into custody on Sunday.

It happened around 11:09 am on Rt 194-Francis Scott Key Highway, in Keymar.

Deputy Etzler saw a Honda Civic driving toward oncoming traffic, trying to get by another car in a no passing zone.

The deputy made a u-turn and pulled the car over.

Immediately after being stopped, the Sheriff's office says 24-year-old Joseph Russo got out of his car and approached deputy Etzler in a so called, "defiant and belligerent" manner.

Etzler then reportedly tried detaining Russo, at which point he became more aggressive and allegedly struck the deputy.

The scuffle led to a struggle on the ground.

Two passing motorists saw this and stopped to help. They held Russo until deputy Etzler was able to handcuff and get him into the back of a police cruiser.

"We are thankful to the two individuals who took action when they saw a deputy in need," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Deputy Etzler was treated at a hospital and later released.

Russo now faces a slew of charges including first and second degree assault, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, and failure to obey a lawful order.