They helped a local police officer struggling to arrest a suspect. Now the city has honored them.

Two Franklin residents, Thomas Roach and William “Tommy” Roberts, recently received a proclamation for assisting an officer who struggled with a suspect while making an arrest.

Mayor Todd Hall recognized both men for their actions on Nov. 16 in assisting Officer Patrick Holland apprehend a suspect who was possibly overdosing on drugs and who tried to run away, fight, resist and disarm the officer. Roach and Roberts assisted Holland until additional police officers arrived to help at the McDonald’s restaurant, 1425 E. Second St.

“… Their courageous actions averted what could have been a tragic loss to family, friends, and community was an act of heroism which deserves special recognition by the Council of this City,” the proclamation said.

Police said Holland was dispatched about 9:33 p.m. on Nov. 16 to the restaurant on a report of a man possibly overdosing. During Holland’s investigation, Chester R. Nichols, 39 attempted to flee, according to police.

Police Chief Russell Whitman told the Journal-News that Nichols ripped the officer’s Taser and holster from his vest and struck the officer several times. Nichols also allegedly tried to grab the officer’s handgun from his holster.

Two McDonald’s customers, Roach and Roberts, and two Franklin EMS medics jumped into the fray to assist the officer, according to Whitman.

Following the scuffle, Nichols was arrested. He was taken to a local hospital for facial injuries, and he was treated and released before being transported to the Warren County Jail. Holland was also taken to a local hospital, where he was treated and released for a bruised hand.

Police found three syringes and an off-white small rock they believed to be an illegal drug in Nichols’ possession, according to the police report.

Nichols’ case was bound over to a Warren County grand jury Nov. 27 after he waived a preliminary hearing in Franklin Municipal Court. He was indicted by the grand jury on Dec. 21 on charges of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; assault on a safety officer, a fourth-degree felony; obstructing official business, a fifth-degree felony; possession of fentanyl-related compound, a fifth-degree felony; possession of heroin, a fifth-degree felony; resisting arrest, a first-degree misdemeanor; and possession of drug abuse instruments, a second-degree misdemeanor.

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