First Responders Go To Bat For Assaulted Good Samaritan

WAGNER – It may have looked like a normal softball game Thursday night at McCormick Field – a police vs. fire department battle.

But its purpose was for someone watching behind the fence.

“This was just the best way that I think we came up with to give back to him,” said Officer Brian McGuire with the Wagner Police Department.

In early June, Wagner Officer James Flynn was caught in an altercation with a suspect. He was attempting to make an arrest when the situation turned on its side. The suspect attacked Officer Flynn, then tried to take his taser and gun.

While getting gas nearby, Wayne Joseph sprang into action.

“They’re here to protect us and I figured I’d give something back,” said Joseph. “I don’t know what it was, just came over.”

Joseph helped the officer, but paid a price. He is currently recovering from five fractured ribs, keeping him on the sidelines from work until September.

So the police department wanted to return the favor.

“In law enforcement, we’re a tight group as it is. You hurt one of my brothers, we’re coming after you,” said Officer McGuire. “The fact that he steps in and helps before we get there, that’s huge.”

They organized charity softball game for first responders. Twenty bucks per player – including officers from seven departments, four counties and area firefighters.

All proceeds going towards helping Wayne.

“I’m always working, never had to depend on anyone in a situation like this,” said Joseph. “It’s really nice these guys are pulling together, I really appreciate it.”

To first responders, Wayne’s help shows how tight-knit the community is.

“They’re not just helping the officers, they’re helping the community keeping that guy off the streets,” said Wagner volunteer firefighter David Woods. “It’s really nice to see.”

Although it’s a competition, it carries the same goal – two teams lifting up one good samaritan who went to bat for them.

“Everything will come through for us,” said Joseph. “These guys really saved me, helped me out.”

Thursday’s softball game raised over $900 for Wayne.