She and other officers confronted a man in the parking lot of a strip mall. He allegedly doused himself with gasoline, which ignited after he ran into a Wingstop restaurant.
McSwain and two other officers were burned as they tried to subdue the suspect. She was more severely hurt, with burns covering 12 percent of her body.
Cedar Hill Police Chief Steve Rhodes said he plans to visit her in the hospital on Thursday. She will need additional medical treatment in the form of surgery, he said.
"We want to express our sincere thanks to the young man Spenser Stroud that rendered aid to Officer McSwain until the paramedics arrived yesterday afternoon. His act of kindness and caring will not be forgotten by the officers of the Cedar Hill Police Department and our community," Chief Rhodes said.
Stroud was one of several witnesses who ran to help. He took off his shirt to put out the flames.
Surveillance video from a nearby Metro PCS store shows McSwain rolling on the sidewalk in flames as Stroud goes to help her.
“Once she pulled up with lights on and everything, she gave him plenty of chances just to stop,” said Stroud. “All he had to do was stop. He didn't.”
He said he didn't think twice about helping the officer. He's the type of person who helps everyone and his father was a police officer for 25 years.
“Very proud of Spencer,” said his father, Harroll. “I knew he had it in him, and if there's any trouble he jumps in to help.”
Harroll owns a jewelry store a few doors down from the Cedar Hill Wingstop. Citizens once came to his aid while he was in law enforcement.
“When I was working, I got stabbed in the neck,” said Harroll. “I was the one down at the time, so I know what she's going through.” Police eventually shot the suspect.He had surgery Wednesday night.
The Dallas County Sheriff's Office is investigating because the case is also an officer-involved shooting.
KDFW FOX 4 400 N. Griffin Street Dallas, Texas 75202
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