A Williams Area CHP officer is recovering after being stabbed during a traffic stop Friday night.
Just after 10:30 PM on Friday, Feb. 15, Phillip Martinson, a Williams Area CHP officer witnessed a vehicle driving northbound on Interstate 5 in excess of 100 miles per hour. Martinson made a traffic stop with the vehicle just south of Myers Rd. in Williams.
“During the traffic stop, Martinson observed signs of impairment and requested the driver to exit her vehicle in order to perform field sobriety tests,” said Franco Castillo, a press representative for the Williams Area CHP.
The driver is identified as Haile Neil, 25, of Martinez, CA.
Once outside the vehicle, Castillo said that Neil became belligerent, and attempted to flee from Martinson, and a struggle ensued.
“During the struggle, Neil pulled a concealed knife from her person and stabbed the officer in the back,” he said.
A passing motorist witnessed the struggle and stopped and assisted the officer with placing Neil into custody.
“Had no one stopped and assisted the officer, the outcome could had been dire,” Castillo said.
The Good Samaritan was identified as 21-year-old Christian Melendrez, of Arbuckle, a driver for Selover’s Towing in Colusa County.
Martinson sustained non-life-threating injuries. He was treated and released at a trauma center in Chico.
“Officer Martinson is home and recovering,” Castillo said.
Neil faces several charges, including attempted murder and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
The CHP is asking for any witnesses to the incident to contact the Williams Area CHP office at (530) 473-2821. ■