WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- For 14 years, EJ Johnson has carved out a career a deputy with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office.
He says it was a chance encounter last Wednesday in Winston-Salem that will go down as his most surprising experience of his law enforcement career.
“I just had to react because if I didn't it might have been a serious situation,” Johnson said. “I think I would do it not just being a law enforcement officer, but if I happen to see it on the street.”
Johnson says he was in the Mercy Seat Holy Church parking lot at the corner of Clayton Street and Pine Tree Road just doing some paperwork when he noticed a car pulled in right beside him.
Within seconds he saw a man and a woman get out of the car. That's when he saw the man stabbing the woman with a knife.
Johnson then hopped out of his car and tackled the man.
The man he tackled is 54-year-old Gabriel Martinez. According to the incident report, the woman he stabbed is his ex-wife.
Martinez is charged with assault inflicting serious bodily injury. He is in jail without bond.
“I had to assess it first. I said to myself, 'Is this really happening?' You know, you don't see stuff like this every day. For it to come to you instead of me going to it... it was different,” Johnson said.
This story has been liked more than 5,000 times with nearly 2,000 shares on sheriff's office's Facebook page.
“You don't hear about that every day. I can't put it into words. It's just something that happened and needed to be done,” Johnson said.
The sheriff’s office says the woman is doing OK. Johnson told FOX8 that the woman says that she's very thankful he stepped in.