LADSON, SC (WCSC) - A video recorded by a witness shows the moments leading up to an altercation between a suspect and two Charleston County deputies and the aftermath.
The video was recorded Sunday afternoon as deputies responded to a report of a man acting erratically and walking in the middle of Highway 78 near Pinewood Drive in Ladson.
"You could tell he wasn't there all the way at that point," Ramona Hernandez, who reported the man to police, said. "Something was wrong, that was our biggest goal, to keep him safe, and to block the oncoming traffic from hitting him or putting anyone else's life in danger."
When the deputies, identified as Master Deputies Levi Reiter and Robert Bittner arrived on scene, Hernandez said the suspect jumped on top of the car, cursing, until he got down.
One video clip shows the man standing on one of the police cars.
When deputies tried to restrain him, Hernandez said things got physical.
"[He] just went and attacked them," she said. "The second officer with him was trying to get to him (the suspect), but he couldn't even get a hold on him. [The suspect] just let it all out."
Charleston County Sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson said a Taser was used to try and subdue the suspect, but they don't know if it worked because witnesses said it didn't seem to stop the man. According to authorities, the suspect also managed to get a hold of a baton from one of the deputies and hit them with it.
Authorities said roughly six to 10 bystanders jumped in to help the deputies restrain the suspect.
A second video clips shows a group of bystanders, but the suspect cannot be clearly seen.
Hernandez, one of those good Samaritans, said she wanted to prevent as many deaths from happening as possible.
"Instead of losing two officers yesterday, I figured if I jump in we could save two officers and give the subject the help he needed...to prevent from being injured," she said.
The deputies are recovering after suffering head injuries, Watson said.
The suspect involved in the altercation had died, he said, but the coroner had not released the identity of the man or how he died as of Monday evening.
The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the incident and the deputies are on paid administrative leave during the investigation, Watson said.