By Lt. Christina R. Shephard, Northern Transportation Hub
CDCR Statewide Transportation Unit

While off duty, a correctional sergeant recently found himself breaking up a fight and protecting a grandfather.

At about 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 2, Sgt. James Ellis was on his way home from work when he went into a coffee shop in Tracy.

That’s when he spotted two young men, in their late teens or early 20s, involved in a fight outside the business.

“I heard some banging against the window and saw this old guy trying to break them up and thought, ‘Well, no one else is going to do anything,’ so I went out there,” Sgt. Ellis said.

While off duty, Sgt. Ellis helped stop an attack on a grandfather.

While off duty, Sgt. Ellis helped stop an attack on a grandfather.

The older man trying to stop the fighting was a grandfather of one of the young men.

Sgt. Ellis left the coffee shop and went outside to assist the grandfather. Sgt. Ellis told the boys to break it up. When they didn’t comply with verbal orders, he used physical force and restrained both of them.

“I was able to stop them from fighting and then released them,” he said.

But, there were two other older males at the scene who were urging the two to continue fighting. One of those men instigating the fight struck the older gentleman after the two boys were separated.

“I contacted the local police and informed them of the assault on the older gentleman,” he said.

He assisted the older gentleman to a seat and told him Tracy PD was on the way and would take a report from him.

Three Tracy PD units with a supervisor arrived on scene.

“I informed the PD what occurred and gave them my contact info,” Sgt. Ellis said.

An off duty San Mateo Sheriff also assisted and obtained the license plate number of the man who struck the older gentleman.

The grandson and grandfather thanked Sgt. Ellis for his help breaking up the fight.

Why get involved?

“In the area where it was, there were strollers and women with kids. You just don’t do that around here,” Sgt. Ellis said.