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A Miami-Dade firefighter and his fiancee were honored Tuesday night for saving the life of an Aventura police officer who was attacked by a man last month. Regianne Georges and fiancee Michelle Thompson accepted awards at a ceremony for their heroic actions in helping Aventura Police Lt. Michael Bentolila.
A Miami-Dade firefighter and his fiancee were honored Tuesday night for saving the life of an Aventura police officer who was attacked by a man last month.
Regianne Georges and fiancee Michelle Thompson accepted awards at a ceremony for their heroic actions in helping Aventura Police Lt. Michael Bentolila.
The incident, which was captured on surveillance footage, showed Georges and Thompson rush to help Bentolila, who was working off-duty in full uniform at Target in Aventura Commons when he was attacked by 42-year-old Jeremy Kaiser.
Bentolila said he spotted Kaiser acting suspiciously and approached him, and Kaiser got into a fighting stance.
"When he saw me reach for my radio he came at me," Bentolila said.
Even after shooting him with a Taser, Bentolila said Kaiser continued fighting him.
"I watched him as he reached into his chest and pulled both probes out of his chest and that little voice in my head said 'I'm in trouble,'" Bentolila said.
"It went from bad to worse really quickly, the guy was able to overpower Mr. Bentolila and I jumped in to help, we jumped in to help," Georges said.
The Miami-Dade firefighter was off-duty, out shopping with Thompson. Though there were many people around witnessing the struggle, Georges and Thompson were the first to act.
"Only two individuals who were not anywhere near me, out in the parking lot, heard the commotion, turned around saw what was going on and decided they're not going to standby and let that happen," Bentolila said.
Thompson, who isn't trained to help, like her soon-to-be husband, let instinct kick in and ran back to get a baton from the car.
"Second nature. I saw him run, I immediately stopped for a second and panicked and then ran, I realized halfway I don't have anything and I'm a woman so I ran and got what I knew I had," she said.
A grateful Bentolila says if it wasn't for the duo's help his attacker may have been able to take his gun from his holster, or even worse.
"These two individuals came to my aid and it's a debt I'll probably never be able to repay," he said.
"I would like to think if we weren't there, someone else would have helped, but I'm glad we were able to help," Georges said.
The firefighter, who's a seven-year veteran, and Thompson, a professor, now have his and hers awards from the City of Aventura and fighting crime in common.
"We're a good match," Georges said. "Yeah, we're a good team, we do pretty well," Thompson added.