Sheriff describes fight with suspect: "He bit me and tried to ch - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Sheriff describes fight with suspect: "He bit me and tried to choke me out"

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -

"I identified myself as Sheriff Watson of the Bradley County Sheriff's Office, and said let's talk about this. He basically told me it was none of my business."

Sheriff Eric Watson describes how he tried to stop a domestic assault last week -- when the suspect attacked him.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Bradley Co. Sheriff, 2 officers taken to hospital after breaking up fight

"He bit me several times and tried to choke me out by grabbing my tie," said Watson, who also suffered a fractured ankle in the fight after the suspect tried to kick his feet out from under him.

Mathis was out on bond for another assault that took place earlier that week.

The incident happened in front of a crowd at the 25th Street Plaza, right next to Sonic in Cleveland.

Watson wasn't in uniform at the time, but he was wearing his badge and his gun. However, he says he didn't think about using deadly force.

"I was never to the point of him having me. I was holding my own with him," Watson said. "Or I might have resorted to that (using a weapon). However, I didn't have to."

Watson said the outcome could've been much different if it wasn't for the help of two citizens who jumped in. One of them, Johnny Brewer, was interviewed Only On 3 last week.

"There were quite a few people gathered around, but nobody was really doing anything," said Brewer, who helped the Sheriff hold Mathis down until more police could arrive.

Channel 3 viewer photos show a team of officers having to carry Mathis into custody.  

District Attorney General Steve Crump said his office will push for harsh punishments against those who harm police.

"Our office will not tolerate officers being endangered in the performance of their job," said Crump.

Mathis is being held in the Bradley County Jail. A judge set his bond at $500,000. He's due back in court on May 17.

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