by: Kevin McCarty Updated:Spanaway, Wash. —
A suspected drunken driver who smashed through a fence and hit a deck where a family barbecue was under way was badly beaten by a mob of about 20 men who dragged him from the car and began kicking and punching him, Pierce County sheriff's deputies said.
The 61-year-old man ran a stop sign on Military Road in Spanaway and continued straight into the fence, according to sheriff's spokesman Detective Ed Troyer.
Witness Robert Davidson said he ran to the scene when he heard the crash and saw a group of about 20 men attacking the man.
"I hear, 'pull the m-effer out of the car, kill him,'" Davidson said. "By the time I get over there, they got the man drug out of the car and they're kicking his head into the ground."
Davidson said he and another neighbor tried to stop the men but were nearly assaulted themselves.
"Six of seven of them chase that man down the street (the neighbor), and you know, I'm still there trying to keep them from beating the old man to death," Davidson said.
A Pierce County sheriff's deputy who arrived on the scene a short time later had to use pepper spray to stop several of the men from attacking him and to disperse the crowd, Troyer said.
Davidson, an Afghan War veteran, said he is convinced the men would have killed the driver had they not been stopped.
"It was pretty crazy, I believe I saved his life," Davidson said.
Davidson's wife, Whitney, said her husband's actions were heroic.
"Oh, he's a hero," she said. "He's definitely a hero. He's already a hero."