Lower Chichester police officer saves woman from potential assault

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Police officer thwarts crime in Lower Chichester: Dann Cuellar reports on Action News at 11 p.m., October 11, 2018

Lower Chichester police are saying one of their own is credited with stopping a potential assault on a woman by a career criminal last week.

Officer Tim McBride is a 16-year veteran of the Lower Chichester Police Department with 26 years in law enforcement.

McBride said last Thursday morning, at about 12:30 a.m., he was on routine patrol on Ridge near Market when he heard screams.

"The screams got louder and louder," he said.

McBride said he was able to determine that the screams were emanating from Stella's Cleaners.

Surveillance video would reveal that the assailant was waiting for a bus outside when he noticed the door wide open, kept that way by the owner because of the heat inside of the business.

A 56-year-old woman was apparently working alone in the cleaners at the time.

The footage shows that the assailant went in the business three times to confirm this before running in to assault the victim, who then began screaming.

That's when Officer McBride passed by in his patrol vehicle with the windows rolled down, ran inside and saw a man assaulting a woman.

"I told him, 'Hey, get off of her!' He got up, at which time he started to approach me. I ordered him several times to get on the ground," said McBride. "He refused my commands, at which time I had to pull my Taser, which is what stopped him."

The video shows that soon other officers would converge on the location to assist.

The victim was shaken, suffered a few minor bruises, but was OK, according to police.

Charged with the attack was Richard Simmons, 46, of Wilmington, Delaware.

Police Chief Thomas Gaspari said he could not be prouder of Officer McBride.

"This is a good outcome, the lady was fine, only minor injuries, and a career criminal is going to go back to jail, hopefully, this time for good," said Gaspari.

Officer McBride said he is just glad he was able to help.

"I was at the right place at the right time," said McBride. "A lot of people are calling me a hero. I don't think I'm a hero. I'm just doing my job and I'm just trying to protect a community."

Simmons was already facing charges for a robbery on October 2 in Delaware.

He remains in jail on charges of attempted rape and aggravated assault. Bail has been set at 10 percent of $500,000.

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