Law enforcement families fundraise for ‘good Samaritan’ who helped trooper to show gratitude

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More than 200 family members of Minnesota law enforcement have raised money to show their gratitude to Vincent Williams, a man called a “good Samaritan” by the Minnesota State Patrol after he came to the aide of a trooper on Sunday.

"That feeling of gratitude washed over me after I saw everyone was OK," said Bethany Danner, president of the nonprofit, Backing the Blue Line. "Even my adrenaline kind of subsided to know the officer was OK, I was extremely grateful to see that."

Danner said family members of law enforcement on their own have been collecting money to give to Williams.

Dispatchers sent help to a Minnesota trooper that the State Patrol says was being assaulted by a man who had been involved in a crash Sunday on Highway 252.

But those officers were still minutes away from the scene.

Instead, out of the darkness on video, you can see Williams stop to help.

“It was just instinct…you know doing security so long, the first thing I observed was the officer go to the ground,” Williams said. “It looks like he needs assistance, I was just thinking if I had driven off and something would have happened, I would have felt bad.”

Thirty-eight-year-old Matthew Cleve, of Zimmerman, faces several charges, including assault on a peace officer and also trying to disarm the trooper from the incident.

VIDEO: Good Samaritan helps trooper being assaulted by man in Brooklyn Center

Cleve’s case was called before a judge on Wednesday afternoon in Hennepin County Court.

No plea was entered. A public defender was appointed and an omnibus hearing for Feb. 5 was set by the judge, according to court records.

In a statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Cleve’s sister, who asked only her first name be used, Amanda, wrote in part, “Matt has battled with alcohol and drugs for as long as I can remember.”

She went on to write, “God was with the officer that night, and my prayers go out to him and his family for healing. “

Meanwhile, the law enforcement families that are part of the fundraiser plan to surprise Williams with check this weekend.