Good Samaritans help stop man from attacking woman

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office says a group of Good Samaritans stopped a man from attacking a woman, then held him until deputies arrived.

Photos provided by the sheriff’s office show the chaotic scene playing out on the side of the road in Citra.


Investigators say it all started when Johnny Helms started beating up a woman inside a car.

“He dragged her out of the vehicle by her hair,” said Sgt. Paul Bloom. “He was on top of her, choking her, had the knife in his hand obviously.”

Several people driving by stopped in their tracks. 

One man agreed to tell us what happened, but asked us not to share his name.

“I initially was going to get out and just bum rush the guy… I saw the knife. I stopped, got down to his level, tried to get him to come to me,” the Good Samaritan said.

But, witnesses say Helms wouldn’t let up.

“When I saw him go off his balance – I took the opportunity - I went in, did what had to be done, then everyone piled on top,” said the man who intervened.

The woman was able to get away and the group of bystanders surrounded the suspect, pinning him to the ground until deputies got there.

The man The News Station interviewed said his finger was slashed in the struggle.

“I heal, she lives. That’s all that matters,” he said.

Helms is in the Marion County Jail facing several felony charges, including aggravated assault and battery.