(Memphis) A police officer is safe after an attack on her life.
The man accused of trying to kill the officer in broad daylight is behind bars.
It happened Saturday afternoon at the intersection of Madison and Cleveland.
“I heard the sirens,” said witness Wadah Edhah.
Police say a patrolling officer drove up to Alphonzo Johnson to question him while he was walking down the street.
Johnson reportedly reached into the officer’s squad car, grabbed her by the neck and started choking her.
“He just didn’t have respect for the law,” said John Traylor.
Police say the attack on the officer didn’t end there.
They told us Johnson grabbed the officer’s gun as it was holstered on her hip.
She tried to fight Johnson off as he threatened to use her gun and kill her.
“He’s totally deranged, that’s somebody they need to catch,” said Traylor.
The officer’s holster unsnapped, but thankfully Johnson never wiggled the gun free.
Witnesses in the area tackled Johnson to the ground.
They held him down until other officers came for back up.
Those witnesses protected the woman sworn to serve and protect them.
“I seen a hat rolling down the street, I figured they tackled somebody,” said Ehdah.
That’s when Snappy Mart owner, Wadah Edhah, came out of his store to see what was going on.
“Before you know it, both intersections were full of police,” said Edhah. “If it wasn’t for the bystanders she wouldn’t have made it.”
Some, like John Traylor, said if the attack could happen to an officer, it can to anyone.
“The city is not safe,” said Traylor.
But the heroism of many makes him feel just a little safer, “Someone can go home and rest easy they got one more criminal off the streets.”
Johnson faces attempted first degree murder, his bond is set at $200,000.
He has been in trouble in the past for several aggravated burglaries.