Officers respond to gunshot victim come under attack – get punched, kicked, and bitten

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ST. LOUIS, MO– Two officers are recovering after being injured following a shooting that took place in south city on July 15th. 

According to KTRS, authorities said the incident unfolded shortly before 12:30 p.m., in the 3100 block of Pennsylvania. Officers responded to a shooting call and found a 23-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds to the torso.

What happened next, none of the responding officers saw coming.

When officers attempted to render aid to the man, he became combative. He punched a female officer in the face and kicked and bit a male officer. Police were eventually able to subdue the man and paramedics transported him to a nearby hospital in critical but stable condition.

According to authorities, the officers suffered minor injuries and declined medical treatment. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the female officer, 38, has been with the department for close to 14 years. The male officer, 41, has been on the force for about eight years.

Allegedly, the victim and the suspect were arguing prior the the victim being shot. The gunman is described as lack, 30 to 35 years old, and standing tall at 5’9″ to 6′. He is said to have a thin build and was wearing a black t-shirt, black sweatpants, and a baseball hat. After the shooting, the suspect fled on foot.

A neighbor of the victim said she heard gun shots, but didn’t see the actual shooting.

She said:

“Several officers swooped in around the young man and were shouting commands at him. At one point, they tried to handcuff him.”

She went on to say:

“He was terrified and his reaction to the officers was probably in response to that.”

St. Louis police are still actively searching for the shooting suspect. 

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In another incident back in April, a 31-year-old man claiming to have COVID-19 spit in another man’s face and punched him. According to Kitsap Sun, when the Bremerton police officers responded and found the suspect nearby, he resisted.

During the struggle, the suspect allegedly bit an officer in the arm, breaking skin.

The suspect, since identified as Kyle John Blees, was charged in Kitsap County Superior Court with third-degree assault for biting the officer and fourth-degree assault for spitting on the victim and punching him.

Allegedly, the victim told investigators that he observed Blees walking out of a store at about 5 p.m. near the corner of Callow Avenue and 11th Street.  The victim told investigators that Blees was shouting obscenities at the clerk, which prompted the victim to tell Blees to watch his language, which in turn started the confrontation.

In June, a Gainesville man was arrested after being accused of biting a police officer’s nose, causing serious injury and disfigurement. According to Atlanta News Now, Kenton Thompson, 31, faced several charges after the incident. Police said that the incident began as a drug-related arrest. 

According to authorities, when officers tried to take him into custody, Thompson ran away, which prompted a brief chase. When the police did catch up to him, a struggle ensued.

The police department said in a Facebook post:

“During the incident, Thompson bit the end of the officer’s nose, which resulted in serious injury and disfigurement to his face.”

The department posted the graphic photo below:

While making a drug-related arrest late Monday night, a Gainesville officer was brutally injured. Kenton Thompson, 31,…

Posted by Gainesville Police Department on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Thompson was charged with aggravated battery, felony obstruction, and two-drug related offenses. As of July 1st, Thompson remains in the Hall County Jail without bond.

Further south, we reported on another attack on Thursday morning.

Police in Atlantic Beach, Florida were responding to calls of a man in the parking lot of a Panera Bread. That call led to an officer being beaten to unconsciousness and a suspect being shot. 

When the first officer arrived on the scene, he and the suspect engaged physical altercation. Before additional officer were able to arrive on the scene, the suspect had knocked the officer unconscious.  

Responding officers arrived on scene to find the man allegedly stomping on the first officer in the head while he was out cold on the ground. The second officer gave verbal commands, which the assailant originally followed.

As the wounded cop lay on the ground “twitching and bleeding,” the suspect became combative and tried to get up. Another officer told him to stay down on the ground. 

Interim Chief Victor Gualillo said that the suspect “said something like ‘you’re going to have to kill me.'”

The officer backed up , keeping space between himself and the suspect. He continued giving verbal commands for the man to stop. 

According to Jacksonville.com

“Instead he said something like ‘You’re going to have to kill me,’ Gualillo said. The officer backed up to give him some space and continued to order him to stop. Then the suspect further engaged him.

“‘That suspect closed distance on our officer, actually tried to grab that officer’s gun, and the officer had no choice at that point but to fire one round to try and stop that person from attacking him,’ Gualillo said.

“The suspect fell to the ground but continued ‘to be combative,’ the chief said. The officer told him to stay down, ‘we are trying to help you.’ He stayed down but was still being combative as rescue personnel began treating him.”

Gualillo said that he had visited the officer at the hospital and he was expected to make a full recovery, but also said “it may be a while before he can come back to work.”

No names were released of the officers or the suspect. 

The injured officer joined the department 18 months ago after having been with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office for 27 years. He reportedly came out of retirement to join the Atlantic Beach Department.

The other officer is on administrative leave pending the investigation, as is typical of an incident like this. He has been with the department for 3 years. This department does not have body-worn cameras. 

Gualillo said:

“This is a terrible thing to have happen in Atlantic Beach. We are typically a quiet community and we have not had an officer-involved shooting in over 20 years.”

The city’s mayor, Ellen Glasser, is a retired FBI agent.

She said: 

“I hold our police department in the highest regard. I ’m sure this is a deep, deep wound for them, just listening to the description. Can you imagine, rolling up and seeing an officer who is unconscious, being pummeled?

“We have a culture, a very tight culture in Atlantic Beach, and that culture includes accountability. With the unrest in our country, police have been challenged. They’re social workers and police officers and monitors of personal behavior. The expectations for them are extremely high, almost an impossible expectation.”

Glasser also spoke to the body cameras, saying that the city has budgeted for them, but do not yet have the platform in place. 

And to the news of the attack on an officer and the subsequent shooting, she added: 

“I have been getting phone calls all morning from people offering their support and their prayers, starting with the mayors of the other two beach cities. It’s the whole Beaches community that’s affected.”

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Sadly, this has almost become the norm for cops around the country. Many times they are being targeted for no other reason than the fact that they are law enforcement. 

Just  three weeks ago, it happened in Dallas.

According to local news affiliate WFAA, an off-duty police officer was beaten to the point of unconsciousness at an apartment complex swimming pool.

The apartment complex was near near Midway Road and Horizon North Parkway. The assault occurred around 9 pm Thursday.

Apparently, the Dallas Police Officer also works as a “courtesy patrol officer” at the complex. 

While working in that capacity, he received a call that there was a large group of people hanging around the pool despite the fact that it’s closed.

Dallas Police Association President Michael Mata spoke to the officer after the assault. Mata said he believes the motive was “this idea that it is OK in today’s world to disobey authority.”  

Mata said:

“[This assault] only furthers the divide between police and the community we serve.”

Reportedly, the officer was casually dressed in shorts and a t-shirt when the incident occurred. Apparently the group asked the officer who he was and why he was asking them to leave, so he told them he was the courtesy officer for the complex. 

Some of the group left, but “three or four of them” stayed at the pool and “started talking about Black Lives Matter.”

WFAA reported:

“The officer started to take pictures of vehicles possibly linked to the group. That’s when he was struck in the back and kicked several times. 

“Mata says he believes the group attacked the man because he is a Dallas police officer. The police officer lost consciousness during the attack.”

The officer suffered bruising to the back of his head, scrapes to his hands and a bloody lip from attack.

Mata said:

“It’s very unfortunate that an officer attempting to do his job was attacked in this manner for nothing else but being a police officer.”

The officer was driven to the hospital and is expected to be ok. 

Mata told WFAA that no suspects have been arrested in this case so far and that detectives are actively attempting to determine their identity.

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