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Albany native declared a hero in McDonough

John Goodson was awarded a Chief’s Commendation certificate for his heroic act in assisting a police officer.

John Goodson was awarded a Chief’s Commendation certificate for his heroic act in assisting a police officer.

McDONOUGH, Ga. — In March, a Henry County policeman found himself dealing with a traffic stop gone bad.

There to help him was John Goodson, an Albany native who is now working as an air traffic controller in the Atlanta area.

On March 11, Goodson was driving down McDonough Parkway when he noticed a commotion that turned out to be Henry County Police Sgt. E. Honea attempting to detain two brothers during a traffic stop.

Honea told The Henry Daily Herald on March 22 that one the brothers was acting nervous at the traffic stop, and that they appeared to calling for help to deal with the cop who had pulled him over.

The next thing he knew, Honea was struggling with both suspects before one fled the scene. The other brother got loose and took off running before confronting the officer again.

That’s when Goodson and one other Good Samaritan stepped in to help wrestle down and capture both suspects.

“Nowadays, you don’t know who is on your side,” Honea told the local newspaper. “I didn’t know if they had stopped to help me, or to help them.”

When Goodson recalled the scene in a phone interview with The Albany Herald, he said he thought the officer’s pistol had been drawn, but he later found out is was a Taser.

“I definitely didn’t want the guy to get the firearm,” Goodson said. “That could have gone bad, real bad.”

Soon after Goodson intervened, several police cars responded to Honea’s call for help.

“The squad cars appeared out of thin air,” Goodson said. “I didn’t hear them coming. I didn’t see them until it was over.”

Goodson had to wrestle down one of the suspects over an ant hill, which resulted in him going to a meeting dirty and covered in ant bites.

“They thought it was funny, but a good deed,” Goodson said of his co-workers’ reaction. “I had ants and red clay all over my pants.”

If given the opportunity, Goodson said he would do it again.

“Police officers lay down their lives every day,” he said. “I thought it was my duty to lay myself down on the line (for the officer).

“My mom and dad raised me that way.”

Goodson is originally from Albany, having graduated from Westover High School in 1983. He and the other Good Samaritan, Jonathan Scott, were honored for their actions by the Henry County Police Department with “Chief’s Commendation” certificates.

“It was very nice,” Goodson said. “It (the recognition) blew me away because I didn’t think what we did was that extraordinary. After the event, I didn’t think too much of it.

“It felt really nice to be honored.”

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