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New Port Richey, Florida - Anthony Stinnett likes to work on his vintage car.

"It's a 1967 Galaxie 500 Phantom," he says, his head under the hood. And a Pasco deputy is lucky that Stinnett was more than just a Phantom last Friday, because he needed a real-live hero.

"The suspect had the officer from behind, choking him from behind," Stinnett demonstrates, leaning back, his hands at his neck.

Stinnett spotted the struggle Friday, January 4th, just after midnight at a 7-Eleven on Little Road. According to the Sheriff's Office, while being taken to jail Osvaldo Flores had kicked the window out of the cruiser, managed to get his cuffed hands in front of him, and then attacked Deputy John Brown.

And that's when Stinnett charged into action.

"I kind of like, tackled the guy and was pulling him off, trying to get his hands off from around his neck," says Stinnett, who also helped restrain Flores until backup deputies arrived.

Brown suffered only minor injuries, but Sheriff Chris Nocco says he was in a fight for his life. "You know, when it's a one-on-one fight, to have somebody help you out... that definitely made a big difference," said Nocco.

SEE ALSO:Sheriff Chris Nocco pics

But the heavily tattooed Stinnett is an unlikely hero. He has a lengthy arrest record himself and even served time in prison, but in the moment, none of that mattered.

"I didn't see it as an officer, I just seen it as another human being in trouble," explains Stinnett.

Right along with fixing his car, Stinnett's been trying to fix his life and after his heroics, he may well be one bad guy gone good.

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