PLAINFIELD - A Plainfield police officer who had stopped to run an errand was savagely beaten today, officials say.

If it wasn't for a Good Samaritan that came to his aid, officer Israel Valentin, 60, may have been killed, investigators say.

Valentin had pulled over in his police cruiser to mail a letter when authorities say the suspect, Andre Henderson, approached Valentin and asked him if he was looking for him. Valentin replied that he wasn't, and that's when police say Henderson proceeded to punch Valentin in the head.

The Good Samaritan, who does not want to be identified, says he took out a child's baseball bat and hit Henderson in an attempt to stop the attack.

Plainfield Police Capt. Edward Santiago says he has no doubt the 30-year police veteran would have been killed if the Good Samaritan had not intervened.

Santiago says the officer has a six- to nine-month recovery ahead. Henderson is facing serious charges related to the attack, including attempted murder and aggravated assault.