Officer Recovering After Early Monday Morning Stabbing
Officers wrestled the man to the ground after he pulled a knife and began to slash them
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage police officer is recovering from stab wounds; his protective vest saved his life.
Police say they encountered 47-year-old Edward Thompson early Monday morning after a call that he was causing a disturbance at an apartment building in Spenard.
Police had reason to believe that Thompson had a weapon. When the two officers went to pat him down he pulled out a knife and slashed them repeatedly as all three wrestled on the ground.
“One officer was injured across the top of his head as well as he was stabbed in the leg, “ said police spokesman Lieutenant Dave Parker. ”The other officer was not injured, but his external vest cover was sliced in the area of his neck.”
A third officer arrived with a shotgun, but in the end it was an officer’s baton that smashed down on Thompson’s wrist and caused him to release the knife.
Police say that in this case the officers would have been completely justified to use deadly force, but it simply wasn’t safe. The officers were too close together as they wrestled the suspect and there was no time to remove their hands and draw a gun.
The incident comes on the heels of another case in Mountain View that is still under investigation and may raise questions in comparison.
Police union representative Derek Hsieh says he is confident that officer’s reaction will be justified once the facts are known. But he also says the public needs to understand a simple fact.
“There is one way to avoid all these circumstances,” says Hsieh. “When the public comes in contact with the police they need to follow the officer's instructions. No matter what those instructions are they need to comply. Sometimes people try to over think their encounter with police or offer some level of resistance and that is always a mistake.”