Waco firefighters assisted in the arrest of a Waco man after he allegedly hit a Waco police officer in the jaw when police tried to remove the man from Station 1 early Saturday morning.

John Austin Honea, 26, was arrested after police were called about a report of a suspicious man near the intersection of Elm Avenue and Peach Street at about 7:30 a.m., Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said. Honea was reportedly jumping on the hood of a citizen's car near the intersection.

When police arrived, Honea walked into Fire Station 1 and was walking around the bays, where the fire trucks were parked, Swanton said. A police officer was walking Honea out of the fire station when he allegedly punched the officer, hitting him in the jaw.

Honea tried to run away before several firefighters grabbed Honea. Firefighters were able to detain Honea by pinning him to the ground.

"I am very proud. Our guys are very public service-oriented, so their first concern was originally to get the man out of the street," Waco Fire Battalion Chief Robert Beechner said. "We didn't want him to be a threat to the public or anyone else."

Beechner, who was on duty Saturday morning, said he did not witness the incident, but learned of firefighters' efforts after Honea was arrested. He said firefighters do not typically assist with detaining suspects, but all emergency responders will help each other whenever possible.

"We try to adapt to whatever happens," Beechner said. "In the fire service, there is always something new."

No one was seriously injured during the incident, authorities said.

Police arrested Honea on a third-degree felony charge of a public servant. He was taken to McLennan County Jail, where he remained jailed Monday afternoon with a bond listed at $10,000.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

Recommended for you