Veteran run over by SUV trying to break up fight

Posted at 9:45 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-09 16:04:59-04

A Valley army veteran fought for his country and now he's fighting for his life.

Steven Richardson, 31, suffered severe head injuries Thursday when he stepped in to stop a man dragging a woman by her hair. The man ran over the veteran with his SUV and fled the scene. 

Richardson suffered severe head injuries in the attack and remains in the ICU at Chandler Regional Medical Center. As of Saturday morning, he's still in critical condition. 

"It's been pretty rough," said Richardson's wife Samantha. "It's been hard seeing him this way." 

Samantha has barely left Richardson's bedside. "Every once in a while he will tell me he loves me and misses me," said Samantha. 

"You can't ever fault someone for doing the right thing at the right time," said Jeromy Cullen, who was with Richardson at the time. "He was doing the right thing at the right time." 

Cullen says he and Richardson jumped in when they saw a man hurting a woman.

"We didn't see what started it," said Cullen. "We didn't see who was the aggressor. All we know is he has his hands on the woman's head and he's dragging her through the parking lot."

Police say the incident began when a man assaulted a woman inside a Jack-In-The-Box near McQueen and Riggs roads. The woman fled from the restaurant after the assault and walked towards a parking lot of a Fry's Food and Drug store. The suspect then followed the woman and dragged her back towards the fast food restaurant by her hair. The pair then went into a white Honda SUV. Both individuals are described as being Native American. 

Richardson tried to block the SUV from leaving when he saw the incident, and that's when the suspect behind the wheel hit the gas, smashing into Richardson and then sped away.

"He went on the hood, into the windshield, then kind of bounced and went down to the ground," said Cullen. 

Richardson's family is holding onto hope that he will make a full recovery. 

Samantha is not at all surprised by her army veteran husband's willingness to step up and his wife is not surprised by this army veterans willingness to step up. 

"I'm proud," said Samantha. "I'm absolutely proud of him. He has always been the one to help out."

Chandler police were back out at the scene Friday night, doing a follow-up investigation. 

The woman who was being attacked reportedly got back into the car with the suspect. 

If you are interested in helping the Richardson family through this tough time, please visit his GoFundMe page.

Police are hoping someone who knows more about the incident will reach out to the Chandler Police Department at (480) 782-4130 and references police report #2016-039777.