The Orange County Sheriff's Office arrested a man after a good Samaritan witnessed a stabbing and intervened.
Thomas Thorpe was taken into custody Wednesday morning after investigators said he repeatedly stabbed an elderly man at a LYNX bus stop over money.
But deputies said he might still be at large if it wasn’t for several good Samaritans, including one that kept Thorpe at gunpoint until deputies could arrive.
Jessica, who asked us to not identify her last name, said she was driving down Orange Avenue near Sixth Street just after eight Wednesday morning after dropping off her husband to work. That’s when she says she saw something she’ll never forget.
“I saw the bad guy smack and punch the older gentleman, telling him to give him his money,” said Jessica.
She said she stopped her car and got out to help, but then immediately feared for her life.
“There was a darker car that pulled in behind me, and he had a gun, he pointed a gun, so I put my head down because I wanted to live,” said Jessica.
But she soon realized the man with the gun stopped to help too. Investigators said that man ordered the stabbing suspect, Thomas Thorpe, to the ground and kept him there until deputies could arrive to arrest him.
Jessica did what she could to help the victim, Don Sacco, until paramedics arrived and rushed him to a nearby hospital.
“So I got back in my car, got bottles of water and began helping him, me and the other guy,” said Jessica.
She believes she and the other good Samaritans came to the elderly man’s rescue just in time. She demonstrated a rapid back and forth stabbing motion as she described what the violent act looked like.
“I think he wanted to kill him. And that’s why I didn’t mind staying there, and being a witness until the end,” said Jessica.
Thomas Thorpe is now facing several charges, including attempted murder. He has little criminal history, with a misdemeanor trespassing charge from 2012.
The 50-year-old is expected to face a judge at first appearance Thursday.
Don Sacco is a member of the Christ Community Baptist Church of Taft and many parishioners were shocked when they heard the news.
"We just love him to death and we're just shocked to hear what happened to Don this morning," said Pastor Al Carlisle. "We a sad commentary, really, now only for our community for our society in general."
At last check Sacco was stable at a local hospital, expected to recover from his injuries.