BRADENTON, Fla. -- A Bradenton police officer is violently attacked by a burglary suspect. The alarm company alerted police to a false alarm at a residence but turns out it was a burglary in progress at a Hispanic jewelry store.
“I felt my life was in danger had to do what I had to to get out alive,” says Lt. William Weldon.
Several surveillance cameras in the store captured the struggle.
Weldon says at first Isaac Hernandez Dubon was cooperating. Weldon says he put down his flashlight and re-holstered his gun, grabbe Dubon’s hand to hand cuff him, and that’s when the 23-year-old fought back.
“Right there he went after my gun,” says Weldon as he points to the video.
Dubon attacked Weldon’s face and gouged his eyes.
“His fingers were going into my eyes sockets…I was blinded…I was afraid for my life," says Weldon. "I didn’t know what to expect from him. All I knew is I had to keep control until of him until backup officers go there”
The struggle lasted more than a minute and a half.
Weldon says, “I needed to make sure I walked out safely and he didn’t get away.”
He adds, “I was seeing multiple images of him (and did) not know where he was at. You see me waving my hand back and forth at him around the throat or chest area. I knew where his head was took the swing.”
Weldon hit Dubon on the head with his gun.
“That was the final blow,” says Weldon.
At that moment, another officer walked in and Weldon is seen bending over with his head on the counter.
“I couldn’t see. I was in pain. I was tired,” says Weldon. “My training kept me alive."
Police say alarm company Slomins Security reported the call as a false alarm at a residence and said the keyholder was on site, and that it was not a burglary in progress.
Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan says she’s contacted the alarm company and asked them to investigate.
“Errors on their part almost resulted in a catastrophic event. We don’t take that likely we will hold them responsible for that,” says Bevan.
Back at the store Joyeria Latina on 9th Street West, co-owner Paula Suarez is very grateful
“He’s our hero…we love that guy want to meet him,” says Suarez.
“He was risking his life he put his life on the line I believe for the community,” she adds.
Suarez says she’s been robbed two other times in the last year and based on the surveillance camera video she thinks it’s the same guy.
All three times, she says, he broke in the same way by busting through the glass door.
Police say Dubon, a Honduran citizen illegally in the United States, is a suspect in other crimes.
Federal immigration officials have placed a hold on him.
Chief Bevan says, “I’m glad he’s off the street now. Hope he’s not back out and harms someone else.”
10News’ phone calls to Slomins Security have not been returned.
The police chief says the veteran officer would have been justified to use deadly force and shoot Dubon.