No good deed goes unpunished…


ST. PAUL, Minn. –  An off-duty St. Paul police officer caught a homeless woman shoplifting from a downtown grocery store on Tuesday. Instead of arresting her, he decided to cut her a break and let her off with a warning.

But he didn’t exactly get the response he expected.

Instead of saying thank you and carrying on her way, St. Paul police say that Articia L. Moore, 23, lashed out at the forgiving LEO, stabbing Officer Joe Ryan twice in the chest.


He was going to let her go… but she had other ideas in mind. (Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)


Police say it began when an employee of the grocery store informed Officer Ryan, who was providing store security at the time, that Moore had hidden multiple items in her pants and jacket, according to a criminal complaint filed with Ramsey County District Court.

The complaint alleges that Ryan confronted Moore and offered her a chance to return the items and leave without the incident going any further. Moore told Ryan that she hadn’t stolen anything – despite the officer being able to see items bulging from inside her clothing.

Eventually, reported, Moore surrendered a drink to Officer Ryan. But when he asked her to turn over the rest of the items, police say she became “uncooperative”.

The officer then noticed a large kitchen knife sticking out of the suspect’s pocket. Alarmed, he grabbed her arm. The complaint says that she managed to wrestle her arm free from Officer Ryan’s grip, then pulled out a screwdriver and swung it at Ryan’s chest.


As the two struggled, the report said that Moore managed to get ahold of the kitchen knife and slashed Ryan on his left arm.

Eventually, he was able to overpower his suspect and secure Moore in handcuffs. 

She had the chance to give up and walk away without going to jail, but now Moore is facing one count of second-degree assault and one count of fourth-degree assault against a police officer.

Officer Ryan miraculously ended up walking away from the attack relatively unharmed, with injuries only amounting to minor cuts on his arm.

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He tried to cut his suspect some slack. Then she attacked him with a screwdriver.


Investigators say the officer’s protective vest absorbed most of the blows and prevented the assailant from critically wounding Officer Ryan. 

“She had options,” said police spokesman Sgt. Mike Ernster. “Thankfully, he wasn’t seriously hurt.”


She appeared in a St. Paul court on Wednesday. 

The TwinCities’ article noted that Moore has had aggressive altercations with St. Paul authorities in the past.

In August, Moore allegedly punched a police officer in the face at a homeless shelter in the downtown Minnesota city, then repeatedly attempted to kick and bite the officers that took her into custody. 


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