Knifeman stabs police dog handler in the head


Last updated at 22:49 03 January 2008

A police dog handler was stabbed in the head after officers were called to a disturbance at a block of flats.

They were responding to a report of a serious assault when they chased a man fleeing the scene.

He pulled a knife on the pursuing police, stabbing the dog handler at least three times in his head and face, witnesses said.

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The constable, who is in his thirties, was taken to hospital.

His condition was said not to be life-threatening.

Another officer armed with a Taser stun-gun and baton caught the attacker with the help of a passer-by.

But during the arrest in Liden, Swindon, the second officer also received knife wounds.

Passer-by Lee Stone, who saw the attack just after 2pm, said: 'Two policemen were called out to a flat and the next thing, one of them got stabbed in the head.

He was taken away in an ambulance and had his head bandaged, but he put his thumbs up.

"Then there were loads of police swarming around."

A neighbour said: "There were six to seven policemen trying to get this man to put the knife down.

"Tasers and batons were used to subdue him. It took a while to bring him under control."

Katrina Brown, 25, who lives nearby, said: "I could see the knifeman - a young chap - lying on the floor with a police dog on him at his feet.

"There was a policeman lying on the floor. It's a bit of a distance away, but you could see the blood on the floor. He had been stabbed in the head.

"There was someone there supporting his head from behind and he wasn't talking - it looked like he was out cold."

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: "The man was confronted by the officers and, as a result, a number of officers received knife wounds.

"A police dog handler has been taken to Great Western Hospital, where his injuries are not lifethreatening. A 26-year-old man was arrested."

Acting Chief Superintendent Kevin Maidment said: "Officers acted quickly and effectively to ensure that the male was located and arrested, preventing further serious injuries to members of the public or officers."

The dog handler is the second this week to be injured.

On New Year's Eve, PC Katie Johnson, of Lancashire Police, was shot in the leg at a pub near Preston.

She had six hours of emergency treatment, but is recovering at home and has vowed to return to duty.