Police officers and nurses are both professional roles that require great sacrifice and dedication. They are vital to the well-being of their communities.
Officer Brian Loewenhagen and Sgt. Eric Walters with the Portage Police Department in Wisconsin found themselves in a troublesome situation at a local Kwik Trip. When they were violently attacked, backup officers were not the first to arrive to save the day.
Instead, it was an off-duty nurse. Vanessa Guerra had just ended her shift at Divine Savior Hospital.
On the evening of April 15, she stopped in the convenience store on her way home. This stop was anything but convenient, but she proved how her quick-thinking skills and bravery as a nurse translated outside the walls of the hospital.
Jacob Hellenbrand, 21, was a suspect in a probation and parole violation. He was with 21-year-old Olivia Boomsma at the Kwik Trip when officers arrested him.
As Loewenhagen handcuffed Hellenbrand, Boomsma punched the officer multiple times. She bruised his left eye, but the violence had only begun.
Walters came to the aid of his fellow officer and sought to restrain Boomsma. Once he had her on the ground, he began to cuff her, and Hellenbrand saw this as his opportunity to attack.
“The male was able to blade his body toward Sgt. Walters and forcefully kick Sgt. Walters on the right side of his face and head. The force of the kick caused Sgt. Walters to lose consciousness,” the Portage Police Department – Wisconsin Facebook page explained.
Guerra’s attention was immediately drawn to Walters’ state of unconsciousness. Her initial goal was to assess the down officer, but the fight was not over.
Guerra heard Boomsma yell something about a knife being in her pocket. The off-duty nurse feared the woman would stab her or the officers so she body-slammed the 21-year-old against the wall.
“I’m in the medical profession. When you get into that mode, you’re there for your patients, you’re there for the person that you see in need,” Guerra told WKOW.
Fortunately for the officers, Guerra was there when they needed an extra person as brave and strong as she was. Walters regained consciousness and was able to arrest Boomsma, so she and Hellenbrand are both being held at the Columbia County Jail and face charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.
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