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(Photo by Mount Vernon Police Department)

A concealed carrier who saved a police officer in a life-threatening struggle with a homeless man high on crystal meth has been rewarded for his bravery.

“I’ve never been in that situation before,” said Cpl. Michael Wheeler, a 14-year veteran with Ohio’s Mount Vernon Police Department. “I’ve always been able to take control of a situation.”

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As reports, last year Wheeler responded to a call of a man sleeping on a homeowner’s porch in Mount Vernon. When he arrived at the scene and approached the suspect, the man attacked him.

Wheeler was knocked to the ground and wound up on his back with the suspect straddling him and reaching for his gun. During the struggle, Wheeler’s shoulder microphone was also ripped off, preventing him from calling for backup.

Just when the situation seemed hopeless, the homeless man suddenly sat back and put his hands up. Wheeler looked over and saw another man with a gun drawn.

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The man, Dylan DeBoard, had a valid concealed carry permit.

Wheeler used the opportunity to flip the suspect over and make the arrest. The man admitted to being high on crystal meth for the past couple of days and was charged with a number of misdemeanors, including trespassing, disorderly conduct and malicious mischief.

One year later, DeBoard has been awarded the Mount Vernon’s Citizen’s Award of Valor for stepping in and saving Wheeler.

Wheeler says he is grateful to DeBoard for drawing his gun that day.

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“I wish a lot more of society would do what he did. There were people standing around, but they were just watching. I kept wondering why people didn’t do anything,” Wheeler said.

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