Home LEOKA 2018 Resource Pages Summaries of Officers Assaulted

Summaries of Officers Assaulted

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Note: In 2018, the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Program received reports of 81 officers who were injured as a result of assaults with firearms or knives/other cutting instruments. The following are summaries of selected incidents in which officers survived injuries from such assaults.

AZ | CA | MI | NJ | NY | PA | SC | TX | UT

Arizona 

On the morning of March 2, a 50-year-old sergeant with the Fugitive Apprehension Squad of the Glendale Police Department (GPD) was shot and critically wounded while performing undercover surveillance on a subject wanted on two felony warrants. A team of officers from the GPD and a U.S. Marshals’ task force worked together to apprehend the subject. Using GPS coordinates from the subject’s cell phone, task force members located him at a storage facility. The officers then observed the subject running away from the facility towards a strip mall. At 8:18 a.m., the sergeant confronted the subject, who immediately pulled out a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun and fired two rounds at the sergeant, wounding him in the front upper torso/chest with one round. An assisting officer fired three rounds at the offender but missed. The offender fled into the front door of a nearby business and exited out the back door, where another officer fired at him. The offender climbed over a wall into the surrounding neighborhood. Members of the Phoenix Police Department (PPD) and GPD set up a perimeter and again used the offender’s cell phone GPS coordinates to pinpoint his location. Members of the PPD’s special assignment unit and a K-9 began searching the area. As they approached a side gate, an officer observed the offender pointing his handgun at them through a gap in the fence. The officer opened fire, striking and justifiably killing the offender at the scene. The 44-year-old offender was on probation and under the influence of amphetamines/methamphetamines at the time of the incident. He was known to law enforcement as a user of controlled substances and a burglary suspect. The offender had previous arrests that included a drug law violation, a violent crime, and resisting arrest. The critically injured sergeant was transported to a local hospital. He has since returned to duty.

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California

A 51-year-old officer with the Arcata Police Department was assaulted and suffered injuries to his hand while answering a call for backup on March 16. At 6:42 a.m., another officer was dispatched to a local grocery store following a report of a theft of coffee. The dispatcher provided the subject’s name and description of the vehicle, which was parked in front of the store. The officer knew the subject from previous law enforcement contacts and was aware from recent morning briefings that law enforcement had banned the subject from the store premises. Upon his arrival at the store, the officer observed the subject standing next to his vehicle. When the subject saw the officer, he got into his vehicle and locked all the doors. A store employee pointed at the subject and identified him as the man who had stolen coffee. The officer approached the subject’s vehicle and asked him to open the window; the subject rolled the window down about an inch. The officer noticed a half-full mug of steaming coffee in the passenger seat. When the officer asked why the subject had stolen the coffee, he replied, “Because I can.” The subject admitted he had been asked to leave the property earlier the same morning. When the officer informed the subject he was trespassing, he replied with phrases such as “just shoot me then,” “suicide by cop,” and “pull the trigger.” The subject rolled up the window and turned up the volume of the radio. The officer asked the subject to exit the vehicle several times, but he refused. Two officers arrived to assist, and the original responding officer advised them of the situation and requested help to arrest the subject. The 51- year-old veteran officer, who had nearly 17 years of law enforcement experience, told the subject that he was under arrest and ordered him to exit his vehicle several times, but the subject did not comply. The officers observed the subject pretending to shave his beard with a knife and then actually cutting his neck. Because the subject was a danger to himself, the 51-year-old officer, who was wearing body armor, broke the front passenger side window, opened the door, and entered through it. The second assisting officer got into the car through the same door and unsuccessfully attempted to unlock the driver’s side door. Meanwhile, the 51-year-old officer wrestled the subject for the knife and repeatedly ordered him to drop the weapon. The original responding officer went to the passenger side and fired his electronic control device, which struck the offender in the upper right shoulder but had little effect. The second assisting officer unlocked the driver’s side door, so the original responding officer went back to that side of the vehicle, removed the subject from the car, and placed him in handcuffs. The subject had three 2- inch cuts on his left hand and abrasions on the right side of his neck, so the officers requested medical transport for him. During the struggle, the 51-year-old officer suffered a 1-inch cut on his left thumb. He was transported to a local hospital where he received six stitches and was released. The injured officer has since returned to duty. The 45-year- old offender was charged with Trespassing, Shoplifting, Obstruct/Resist Executive Officer, and Resisting Arrest. He had a criminal history that resulted in him being incarcerated in a penal institution.

*****

On January 22 at 8:50 a.m., a 28-year-old deputy sheriff and a 38-year-old sergeant with the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office (DNCSO) were stabbed and injured while answering a disturbance call in Crescent City. A woman called dispatch and reported her roommate was in her room yelling at her. The deputy sheriff, who had more than 3 years of law enforcement experience, arrived at the residence and was met at the front door by the roommate, who let the deputy in. Once inside, the deputy turned on his body camera and then spoke with both roommates about the dispute. The man was primarily upset that the woman had turned off the internet service. The woman wanted the man to move out of the residence. After hearing both accounts, the deputy determined the matter was civil in nature and not criminal, but he tried to offer a resolution by suggesting the man leave the residence for a while. The deputy offered the man a ride, but the man did not want to leave without his cats. He tried to call a friend to come get him, but the friend did not answer the phone. The man told the deputy he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and repeatedly said that he would hurt his roommate if he remained there. Based on these recurring statements, the deputy determined the man should be placed in protective custody. The deputy asked if he would speak to mental health workers, and the man declined. During their interactions, the deputy saw what he thought was a rifle inside the residence and a sheathed knife on the man. Around 9:20 a.m., the deputy radioed for backup using a code indicating weapons were present. When the sergeant, an 11-year veteran of law enforcement, arrived at the residence at 9:29 a.m., the deputy had the man step outside. As the sergeant, who was also wearing a body camera, approached, the deputy reiterated the statements the man had told him so the sergeant could ascertain the seriousness of the situation. The deputy asked the man about the rifle and knife he observed in the residence; the man said it was a pellet gun and admitted he had a knife. The deputy told the man they were going to take him into custody for a mental health evaluation and began to move near him. The subject began yelling repeatedly that he did not want to deal with “mental health in this county.” The officers ordered him not to reach for anything and repeatedly told him to put his hands behind his head; however, he refused to comply. As the officers talked to the subject in an attempt to calm him, the subject said that someone was coming to pick him up and that he would leave his roommate alone. The subject then advised the officers he was going to reach for his phone. The sergeant warned the subject that reaching for anything would result in a firearm being pointed at him. The sergeant again implored the subject to place his hands on the back of his head. The subject then put his hand on his knife, so the deputy pointed his 9 mm semiautomatic handgun toward the man and notified dispatch “one at gunpoint.” The officers continued to command the subject to put his hands on his head, and at one point the subject replied, “No! You’re going to have to shoot.” Around 9:34 a.m., the sergeant moved toward the subject in an effort to subdue him; the subject pulled his knife from its sheath. The deputy called dispatch again for backup. The sergeant attempted to control the subject’s hands, but he maneuvered the knife and stabbed the sergeant on the top of both hands and wrists. The sergeant lost his grip, and the deputy then engaged in a physical confrontation with the subject, attempting to pull him down. As the officers tried to gain control of the subject, he turned and stabbed the sergeant in the left side of his back. The blade penetrated the sergeant’s uniform and partially penetrated his ballistic vest; the body armor prevented the blade from piercing the sergeant’s skin. The subject turned and attacked the deputy with the knife, resulting in a 6-inch cut on the left side of the deputy’s head. The subject fell to the ground but got back up and rushed several feet toward the deputy, who attempted to pull his weapon and stand up before the subject reached him. The subject tried to stab the deputy in his lower left chest; however, the deputy backed up and the subject cut the deputy’s shirt cuff. The subject again turned toward the sergeant, who had drawn his duty weapon and was attempting to get to his feet as the subject raised the knife above his head. The subject was almost on top of the sergeant when the sergeant fired his 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. The wounded subject fell to the ground. The sergeant also fell to the ground. The deputy, who was approximately 10 feet from the subject, noticed the subject was trying to get up, so he fired three rounds from his 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, further incapacitating the subject. At 9:35 a.m., the sergeant told dispatchers that shots were fired, an officer was down, and medical attention was needed. The sergeant and deputy ordered the subject, who had risen to his hands and knees, to stay down, but he continued to disregard commands. The subject laid down, but continued roll around. The deputy readied his electronic control device and retrieved the knife from the ground near the subject’s feet. At about 9:38 a.m., law enforcement officers began arriving on scene. A police officer with the Crescent City Police Department placed the subject in handcuffs. Ambulance crews arrived and began treating the deputy and the subject, who were both taken to a local hospital by ambulance. The sergeant was taken to a local hospital by DNCSO deputies. The deputy received 10 staples in his head, and the sergeant received three stitches in his hand. They were released from the hospital and have returned to duty. The 38-year-old subject succumbed to his injuries later that day. The subject, who was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the incident, had a prior criminal record that included a violent crime.

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Michigan

A 25-year-old trooper with the Michigan State Police was wounded shortly after a traffic stop around 1:20 p.m. on July 13 in Lake City. The trooper, who had 2 years of law enforcement experience, was on patrol and following a truck—preparing to activate his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop—when the driver pulled off to the side of the road. A passenger exited the vehicle and ran into a nearby field. The trooper stationed his patrol vehicle behind the parked truck, exited, and told the remaining two occupants to stay inside the truck. The trooper chased after the man, but once he entered the field, the man fired five rounds at him with a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun from more than 120 feet away. The trooper, who was wearing body armor, was struck by three rounds and suffered wounds to the neck/throat, front upper torso/chest, and rear upper torso/back. As the trooper ran for cover, he used his radio to update dispatchers of the situation. The trooper took refuge behind a tree and exchanged gunfire with the subject. Officers with the Missaukee County Sherriff’s Department arrived at the scene, established a perimeter, and attempted to locate the suspect. A short time later, the suspect committed suicide in the field. The 32-year-0ld man was wanted and on parole at the time of the incident; he had a prior criminal record that included a drug law violation, a weapons violation, and a violent crime. The victim trooper was treated for his wounds at the scene then taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Medics determined the trooper’s body armor had effectively stopped a bullet from piercing his rib area. The trooper recovered from his injuries and has since returned to duty.

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New Jersey

Two undercover detectives with the Camden County Police Department were wounded during an ambush around 8:30 p.m. on August 7 while working a surveillance detail in Camden. The detectives, a 28-year-old with 3 1⁄2 years of law enforcement experience and a 23-year-old with nearly 2 years of law enforcement experience, were inside an unmarked vehicle and stopped at an intersection. Another vehicle was also stopped at the traffic light on the intersecting street. Two subjects jumped out of the vehicle while the driver remained behind the wheel. The two subjects ran directly toward the officers’ vehicle and began shooting into it. The subjects fired 21 rounds from semiautomatic handguns. As the subjects returned to their vehicle, the 23-year-old detective exited the unmarked vehicle and, using it for cover, fired four rounds, striking the subjects’ vehicle. The subjects continued to flee. Backup officers arrived and transported both detectives to a local hospital; they were admitted with injuries to their arms/hands. Responding detectives located the abandoned vehicle a short distance from the scene. U.S. Marshals arrested the driver on August 18 in Gloucester and arrested the other two subjects, a 19- year-old and a 26-year-old, on August 21. The 19-year-old subject had a conviction as a juvenile and a previous weapons violation; the 26-year-old subject was a known dealer of controlled substances who had a previous arrest for a drug law violation and had served probation and parole. Both of the subjects arrested on August 21 were charged with six counts of Criminal Attempted Homicide, two counts of Aggravated Assault on Police, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Conspiracy Murder, and Hinder Apprehension of Terrorism. Neither detective had returned to duty at the time this incident was reported to the FBI.

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New York

Two veteran police officers with the Mamaroneck Police Department (MPD) were stabbed and injured while answering a call for service on the afternoon of April 28. At 1:29 p.m., an MPD dispatcher received a 911 call from a frantic woman reporting someone was dying at a residence. The dispatcher sent all MPD units and an ambulance to the residence. Multiple officers responded around the same time and encountered a woman who was crying hysterically and saying “my daughter, my grandbaby” repeatedly. She led officers to a side door and gave them the keys to unlock it, as her hands were shaking too badly to do it herself. A group of four officers entered the kitchen, and one of them announced “police” loudly multiple times. In an attempt to clear the house, the officers split up. A 33-year-old police officer, who had 9 years of law enforcement experience, went downstairs with his weapon drawn to secure the basement, where he observed blood spots on the wet floor and a bathtub filled with bloody water in a bathroom. At the same time upstairs, officers walked down a hallway where they saw two closed doors and a number of handwritten notes stuck to the walls with unclear phrases written on them. They opened the first door and found a small, unresponsive child covered by a small blanket or towel and lying on a bed. Her cover included a note that appeared to ask God to accept “my baby.” The 53-year-old officer, who had 17 years of law enforcement experience, immediately started performing CPR on the child and radioed for EMS assistance; the other two officers continued clearing the house. The officers opened the second closed door and encountered a woman standing in the darkened bedroom holding both hands behind her back. She had a bleeding cut on her neck and was staring blankly at the officers. They repeatedly ordered the woman to show her hands, but she did not comply or speak. Additional officers arrived at the scene. Another officer switched places with the 53-year-old officer, and took over performing CPR on the child. The 53-year-old officer then entered the second bedroom with his weapon drawn and ordered the woman to show her hands and get on the floor. The officer had a light mounted on his firearm, which helped him clearly see the woman. As the 53-year-old officer started to switch his firearm for an electronic control device, the woman raised her hands above her head, clutching a large knife in each hand, and ran toward the officers. By this time, the 33-year-old officer had cleared the downstairs and joined the other officers. He and another officer deployed their electronic control devices, striking the suspect in her middle back and side. However, the shock had no effect on the woman. The suspect charged the officers, wildly swinging both knives. The officers backed away and used their arms to deflect the knives, then tripped and fell to the ground. The offender continued to slash at the officers, while they tried to kick the knives away from her. A third officer fired three rounds at the suspect, striking her twice and stopping her attack. The 53-year-old officer suffered a laceration to his left hand, and the 33-year-old officer was stabbed in the foot. Emergency services personnel arrived and began treating the injured offender while the 53-year-old officer returned to the child, who had no pulse, and began chest compressions again. Other officers began clearing the house. Another officer took over CPR on the child, while the 53-year-old officer returned to his patrol unit to retrieve his K-9 partner to help clear the building. On the second floor, the K-9 picked up the scent of a person behind a closed, locked door. An unarmed man exited the room with his hands up, and the officer handcuffed him. Officers later determined the man was a tenant and had nothing to do with the incident. Emergency personnel cleaned and bandaged both officers’ wounds and removed the deceased child to a waiting ambulance. Both officers went to a local hospital where they were treated and released. They have since returned to duty. The 28-year-old suspect, who was the mother of the deceased child, was arrested and charged with Second-Degree Murder, Second-Degree Assault, and Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer. She had no prior criminal record, but she was known to law enforcement for previous domestic violence calls.

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Pennsylvania

At 6 a.m. on August 6, a 49-year-old veteran police officer, who had nearly 21 years of law enforcement experience, was working with the Philadelphia Police Department’s SWAT team when he was shot and wounded while attempting to execute a search and seizure warrant at a residence. A team of six officers approached the front door of the residence; the sergeant knocked and announced they were there to execute a warrant. No one answered the door. The team breached the front door and entered the enclosed porch. The officers attempted to open the locked interior door leading into the living room when the grandfather of the subject of the warrant opened fire using a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. He was near the top of the stairs in the living room and fired multiple shots downward, through the door toward the officers. The victim officer, who was wearing body armor, was shot once in the left side of his head. Another police officer immediately fired five rounds with a shotgun, striking the suspect multiple times. Once the shooting stopped, the SWAT team entered, searched, and secured the residence, but they did not find the subject of the warrant. The victim officer was transported by law enforcement personnel to a local hospital, where he was listed in critical but stable condition. At the time this incident was reported to the FBI, the officer had not returned to duty. The 59-year-old suspect was transported to a local hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. The suspect did not have any previous arrests.

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South Carolina

Around 8:30 p.m. on August 30, a 28-year-old corporal with the West Columbia Police Department (WCPD) was wounded while answering a call for backup. A short time earlier, a WCPD officer responded to a report of an impaired man in a vehicle. The officer parked his patrol unit next to the man’s vehicle and approached the driver’s side door. The subject placed his vehicle in reverse, and the vehicle rolled backwards onto an adjacent street. The officer took hold of the side mirror and stopped the rolling vehicle. The subject was fidgeting and yelling, so the officer asked him what was wrong. The man ignored the officer and continued his erratic behavior. The officer asked the man to exit the vehicle, but the subject did not comply and stated he needed to make a phone call because he was out of gas. Tinted windows prevented the officer from seeing clearly inside the vehicle, so he called for backup. The corporal, who had nearly 4 years of law enforcement experience, and two additional WCPD officers arrived at the scene. When one of the newly arrived officers opened the driver’s door of the vehicle, the man grabbed a 4-inch knife and held it to his own throat. The man stated that he had been released from prison recently, and he was concerned the officers were going to take him back to jail. The subject repeated that he wanted to make a call, so one of the officers offered to make the call if the man would put down the knife. Once again, the subject ignored the officer and continued to rant and complain. A WCPD sergeant arrived at the scene and asked the man what was wrong; he replied that the officers were trying to take him back to jail. During their conversation, the subject placed the knife on the vehicle seat. While distracting the man by talking to him, the sergeant passed his electronic control device behind his back to one of the other officers. At that point, the sergeant and two of the officers reached inside the vehicle and attempted to pull the man out. The subject pulled away, regained the knife, and started swinging it at the officers as he shouted, “Shoot me!” During the scuffle, the corporal, who was wearing body armor, sustained a cut on his left arm/hand near his palm. The suspect closed the vehicle door, so one of the officers used a baton to break the window. The sergeant ordered the suspect to drop the knife; the suspect tossed it out of the window onto the ground. The sergeant then ordered the suspect to exit the vehicle with his hands visible and to get on the ground. Again, the suspect complied. The officers detained the suspect without further incident and took him into custody. The 40-year-old suspect, who was on probation at the time of the incident, had prior arrests that included a weapons violation and a violent crime. He was arrested and charged with Public Disorderly Conduct, Unlawful Weapon, and Assault on a Police Officer While Resisting Arrest. The corporal has since recovered from his injury and returned to duty.

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Texas

A 25-year-old recruit officer with the Amarillo Police Department was shot and injured while answering a call for service on August 31. At 3:44 a.m., the recruit, who had 3 months of law enforcement experience, and a senior officer were dispatched to investigate a glass break alarm at a local business. As the officers neared the scene, they noticed a subject on the street waving his hand to attract their attention, so they pulled over and got out of the patrol unit to speak with him. The subject said he walked by the business, heard the alarm, and saw two people riding away on bicycles. The subject stated he had recently been released from prison and did not want to get into trouble. The officers observed the subject acting suspiciously; he was unsteady on his feet and kept repeating himself. The officers checked the contents of the subject’s backpack. Then, as the subject sat on the curb, the senior officer got into the patrol unit to run a computer check. The computer returned a parole warrant for the subject’s arrest, so the senior officer exited the patrol unit and informed the subject he was under arrest. The subject immediately ran. The officer deployed his electronic control weapon, which was ineffective. The subject ran into the side yard of a residence and was blocked by a wooden fence, so he stopped and turned toward the officers. The subject produced a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun and fired four rounds at the officers while walking toward them. The officers returned fire, striking the subject and causing him to fall to the ground. The recruit, who was wearing body armor, was struck by one round in the front of his legs/feet. The officers could not see the subject’s hands or the firearm he had used, so the senior officer held the fallen subject at gunpoint while he radioed dispatch to report the updated situation. A backup officer covered the senior officer as he handcuffed the subject. Officers found the firearm in the grass near where the subject had been shot. Medical personnel arrived and treated both the recruit and the subject at the scene, then transported them to the hospital. The recruit underwent surgery to remove a round from his foot. At the time of the incident, the subject was under the influence of heroin and amphetamines/methamphetamines. On September 7, the 24-year-old subject was released from the hospital and immediately arrested and charged with First-Degree Attempted Capital Murder. Known to the police department as a user of a controlled substance and for theft, he had previous arrests including a drug law violation, a violent crime, and resisting arrest. At the time this incident was reported to the FBI, the victim recruit officer had not returned to duty.

*****

A 23-year-old police officer with the McAllen Police Department was shot and wounded while answering a call for service shortly after midnight on December 24. The officer, who had 1 year of law enforcement experience, responded to a burglary-in-progress call at a residence. When he arrived at the scene and entered the house, the officer found two men arguing. The homeowner was attempting to detain the second man, the burglary suspect. The officer approached the men and identified himself. The burglar ran from the house, followed by both the officer and the homeowner. The officer chased the burglary suspect and ordered him to stop, but he did not comply. The officer, who was wearing body armor, eventually caught up to the burglary suspect, and the two struggled and wrestled on the ground. The homeowner caught up to the pair, produced his 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, and pointed it in the direction of the officer and the burglary suspect. The homeowner fired a single round at close range; the bullet struck the officer in the arms/hands. The burglary suspect got up and ran to an area behind the home. Additional officers arrived at the scene and took the burglary suspect into custody. Officers at the scene also arrested the 30-year-old homeowner, who knew the victim officer from a prior relationship through law enforcement (arrests, investigations, etc.). The subject was charged with Aggravated Assault against Public Servant. The officer was taken to a local hospital and admitted for treatment of his wounds. He had yet to return to duty at the time this incident was reported to the FBI.

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Utah

On May 5 at 12:35 p.m., a 37-year-old sergeant with the Cottonwood Heights Police Department, a law enforcement veteran with 6 years’ experience, sustained an injury to his arm while responding to a report of a suicide attempt. When the sergeant arrived at the residence, the subject’s sister reported the subject had taken approximately15 antidepressant pills and had been texting his friends indicating he wanted to kill himself. She forwarded those messages to the sergeant. Another female in the residence led the sergeant upstairs to the subject’s bedroom. The sergeant, who was wearing body armor, knocked on the door and called out the subject’s name, but no one answered. The woman opened the door and gave the sergeant permission to enter the bedroom. Since the subject, who outweighed the sergeant by around 70 pounds, was under the influence of antidepressant pills and appeared to be in a hopeless frame of mind, the sergeant decided to wait for backup officers to arrive before engaging him. The subject told the sergeant that he wanted to kill himself because of “all the bad going on around him.” The sergeant tried to convince the subject to leave the bedroom, but the subject refused and said that he would not cooperate with medical personnel. Based upon the statements the subject had made to his sister and friends, the sergeant determined that the subject was a threat to himself and decided to have him involuntarily committed to a hospital. Once backup arrived, the sergeant pulled slightly on the subject’s legs, saying “Let’s go,” as the subject lay on his bed. Simultaneously, a backup officer tried to pull the subject up by his arm. At this point, the subject sat up quickly and stabbed the sergeant in the right inner forearm with a pair of scissors. The sergeant pulled the subject off the bed and onto the floor, and the backup officer positioned himself on the subject’s back in an effort to subdue him; however, the subject refused to relinquish the scissors. The sergeant deployed an electronic control device into the subject’s upper right thigh and again in the subject’s right side. The subject dropped the scissors, and the backup officer handcuffed him. Medical personnel evaluated the subject and transported him to a local medical center. Medical personnel also evaluated and treated the sergeant’s wound at the scene; the sergeant later sought additional treatment at an emergency care facility. After the 20- year-old subject was released from the medical center later that day, officers arrested him and charged him with Aggravated Assault and Interference with a Peace Officer. The sergeant has since recovered from his injury and returned to duty.

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