Suspect who allegedly attacked officer was on probation for prior drug charges

Suspect who allegedly attacked officer was on probation for prior drug charges
Vickie Williams-Tillman (Source: Baton Rouge Police Department)
Vickie Williams-Tillman (Source: Baton Rouge Police Department)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The man who is accused of attacking a Baton Rouge Police officer during a traffic stop is currently on probation for a prior conviction.

According to the Department of Corrections, Thomas Michael Bennett was arrested in September 2014 for possession of oxycontin/schedule 2 narcotics. He was placed on probation in October 2014 and the case was prosecuted by the 21st Judicial District Court. His probation was set to expire in October of this year.

Bennett, who is a native of Albany, was pulled over on Sunday, Feb. 19 on Harry Drive in Baton Rouge. Police say the officer who conducted the stop found drugs in his car.

At some point, Bennett allegedly attacked the officer, grabbing his police-issued baton. He reportedly hit the officer in the head, causing the officer to bleed.

During the attack, Vickie Williams-Tillman, 56, witnessed what was happening from her car. She quickly called 911, but then decided that wasn't enough.

Williams-Tillman jumped on Bennett's back in an attempt to pull him off the wounded officer, officials say.

"She took action and taking action doesn't necessarily mean physical," said Sgt. L'Jean McKneely, Public Information Officer for the Baton Rouge Police Department. "The call that she made saying that our officer is out here fighting, that was big. But then her taking that second step was even bigger and she gave that officer a second chance."

Backup arrived and Bennett was subdued by a Taser.

All three were taken to the hospital.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome is set to hold a news conference today to discuss the recent attack and the heroic efforts of the good Samaritan who helped rescue him.

Upon his release, Bennett was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for aggravated battery, disarming a police officer, battery on a police officer, resisting an officer with violence, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bennet's bond is set at $167,500.

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