Hammond man hailed as hero for tackling suspect grabbing officer's gun

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Patrick Baum doesn't want to be called hero, rather just a helper who hopes his story will encourage others to step in and help when they can. (WLS)

Patrick Baum doesn't want to be called hero, rather just a helper who hopes his story will encourage others to step in and help when they can.

Baum was given a bravery award by the Hammond Police Department for what he just described as "helping."

"I just ran in there and did what anyone should do," he said.

Baum said on June 1 he was on his way to his home on Parrish Avenue near 165th Street when he saw an officer pulling someone over.

"And I see that he's, the man that he pulled over, he's bursting out of his car and he's going towards the officer and, you know, attacking him," Baum said.

He said he slowed down and hesitated at first over what to do. Then a defining moment came.

"It looked like, you know, he was grabbing for that gun and I just said, 'You know, heck with it. I gotta do something,'" he said.

In a split second decision, Baum said he got out of his car and bum-rushed the man reaching for the Hammond officer's gun and helped him tackle the suspect until help could arrive.

"It happened fast. I don't know if, if the officers would get mad at me for doing that. I don't know," Baum said.

Far from it. Instead, they presented him with an award.

It turns out the man Baum helped tackled, 27-year-old Randol Hall, was later charged with attempting to abduct children. Hammond police praised him for going above and beyond that day, but that's not the way Baum sees it.

"I think heroes are the people-the cops that go out on the street every day, military that goes overseas and fights for us, for our freedom. That's what I define as a hero," he said.

Baum stressed that Officer Daniel Sangkaratana, who he helped, is the real hero.
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