"It was crazy!" Citizens race over to help as police officer is brutally attacked by a suspect

OHIO (WITI) -- An Ohio police officer was attacked by a "dangerous criminal" this past weekend -- as the camera on his dashboard rolled.

WSCOTV says Officer Christopher Keene spotted 41-year-old Charles Cole just after 3:00 p.m. this past Saturday, June 28th while police were searching for a suspect who had just burglarized a home.

Officer Keene tried talking to Cole -- who decided to run.

As Officer Keene gave chase, Cole turned around and punched Keene twice in the face.

That's when the scuffle began on the side of the road.

As the dashcam rolls, two citizens are seen stopping to help Officer Keene subdue Cole.

WSCOTV says they are 33-year-old Benjamin Lawson and 19-year-old Levi Miniard.

"It looked like he was hitting him pretty hard because he had a cut on the side of his face. His lips were blue from how many times he had been punched. It was crazy," Miniard said.

Keene suffered a gash across the side of his head, a black eye and a strained neck. He was treated and released from the hospital.

Cole was booked into jail on a number of charges.

The police chief is praising these citizens for stepping in.

"It is really nice to know that if any of my officers are in danger, our citizens will step up and help an officer. This is just one of many reasons why I love this town," Chief Russ Whitman said.

CLICK HERE for more on this story via WSCOTV.