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Surveillance Video Shows Man Saving Burned Police Officer

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
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CEDAR HILL (CBS 11 NEWS) - New video reveals the drama of a bizarre arrest in Cedar Hill where an attempted burglary suspect wound up on fire, along with the officer trying to apprehend him.

The camera at a Metro PCS next door to a Wingstop points out to the front of the store and captured the bizarre incident.  The suspect and officer are seen running right-to-left towards the WingStop next door, at that point the man already pouring some kind of flammable liquid on himself.  Seconds later the two re-emerged into camera range with flames everywhere.  Store workers were at first stunned, then rush to get water and try to help Spencer Stroud put out the flames on the Cedar Hill police officer.

“I was doing what everybody needs to do if they see someone in need of help,” Stoud said of the incident.  He suffered some minor burns himself while assisting officer Ann McSwain.

Law enforcement officers have stopped by to personally express gratitude for what he did.  In a news release, Cedar Hill police singled him out, expressing sincere thanks for his help. “His act of kindness and caring will not be forgotten by the officrs of the Cedar Hill Police Department or our community,” it read in part.

“Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever had anything that big handed out like that,” Stroud said after viewing the compliment.  “Just let her know that I’m still here for her if she anything–even though I’m only a civilian—she can call me, text me, if she gets hungry and wants a What-A-Burger, let me know!”

In the same release, police say Ann McSwain—once rookie of the year and later officer of the year in Cedar Hill—will remain at Parkland for additional medical treatment and surgery.  Stroud tried to see her last night and couldn’t, but claimed he did get a condition update.   “I heard she’s doing good; she had 12%of her body was burned, her forearms and her lower legs;  the only thing that saved her upper torso was her vest.”

Thursday evening Stroud indicated he will get to see the officer later tonight.

Because the burned man was also shot during the arrest, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the case as an impartial, independent agency.   It is not releasing the man’s identity or his condition.

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