POLICE

Officer Stabbed in Downtown DC; Homeless Man Intervened

“They're my cops. This is my city and I don't want you stabbing them," the good Samaritan said

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What to Know

  • The Metropolitan Police Department officer was stabbed after responding to a call reporting an assault.
  • A homeless man, John Burrows, helped save him. He told News4 he was angry to see the officer attacked for no reason.
  • The D.C. department dedicated to helping homeless people started a fundraiser for Burrows. The city recently displaced him from the park where he lived.

A police officer was stabbed in the head in downtown D.C. early Thursday and a homeless man intervened to save him, possibly saving his life, the police chief said.

The veteran officer was rushed to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after being attacked with scissors. The Metropolitan Police Department thanked John Burrows, the man who intervened.

"It's very, very kind — very heroic, Chief of Police Peter Newsham said at a news conference.

A 61-year-old man who also is homeless was arrested and charged with assault with intent to kill an officer. Investigators have not been able to determine a possible motive, Newsham said. There was no indication he had any link to the racial justice demonstrations that have been held downtown for weeks.

Burrows told News4 he had previously met the Second District officer and was just doing the right thing. 

“I grabbed the guy's arm and me and the cop together got him under control so he couldn't stab him no more. He got arrested, the cop went to the hospital and I guess I'm like a little hero,” he said. 

Burrows said he was angry when he saw the man attacking the officer.

"I was really mad at the guy, for just stabbing him for no reason. That made me mad,” he said. “They're my cops. This is my city and I don't want you stabbing them."

The D.C. Department of Human Services started a fundraiser for Burrows “per the request of the community,” the donation page says. He is one of 26 people who the city displaced from Franklin Square to allow construction of a new park there. 

The name of the officer was not immediately released.

The officer saw the suspect and ordered him multiple times to stop. The suspect turned, pulled out a pair of scissors and stabbed the officer in the head, back and shoulder, Newsham said. Burrows then stepped in.

The officer was expected to be released later Thursday.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

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