Man Who Helped MPD Fight Off Attackers Called Hero

Mayor Vincent Gray recognized a D.C. citizen for helping two D.C. police officers fend off an armed attacker.

When 58-year-old Yik Li saw a man attacking two officers earlier this month in Chinatown, he jumped into the fray and pulled the assailant away.

On Wednesday, Mayor Vincent Gray recognized the man's selfless behavior.

"Mr. Li's actions were critical and heroic, and for this he is to be commended," Gray said.

At about 5 p.m. June 11 in the 800 block of Sixth Street NW, an officer observed a man with an open container of alcohol and approached him. That man became aggressive, attacked the officer with a sharp object and threatened police with a long pole, police said.

A second officer intervened, and Li, who was at work at a restaurant in the area, assisted in pulling the attacker off the first officer. More officers responded and took the suspect in to custody.

On Wednesday, Li was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Chief of Police Special Award and two certificates of valor, NBC Washington's Pat Collins reported.

"Many people in the community help MPD by giving tips, reporting crimes, and providing crucial witness information that leads to arrests and seizures of dangerous people and items," Chief Cathy Lanier said. "We thank Mr. Li for his selfless actions in helping our police officers, and for doing his part to help keep D.C. safe."

One officer suffered facial contusions and bruises. Another suffered facial lacerations and abrasions.

The suspect was charged with assault of a police officer while armed.

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