Phoenix PD: Handcuffed suspect stabs 1 officer, injures another

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A suspect in handcuffs lunged at police officers from the back seat of a patrol car Tuesday morning, stabbing one and injuring the other in the forehead.

Both officers were rushed to the hospital in stable condition. One of them suffered a stab wound to the leg.

Both officers have since been treated and released.

"Our officers were at the Circle K here on an unrelated call when a citizen approached them and advised them of a male subject acting suspiciously in the area all morning," Phoenix Police Sgt. Alan Pfohl said.

[RAW VIDEO: Phoenix police briefing on officer stabbed]

The suspect was in a van in the area of 17th Avenue and Van Buren Street.

Police ran the plates and the vehicle came back as stolen.

The officers immediately took the suspect into custody, placed him in back of the patrol car and continued their investigation," Pfohl said.

The rear door of the patrol car was open.

"During their conversation, the suspect lunged out toward the officers," Pfohl said. "A struggle ensued and during that struggle, the suspect armed himself with a knife and stabbed one of the officers in the back of the leg."

During the confrontation, the suspect lashed out at the second officer.

"The other officer who was with him also sustained some minor injuries to his forehead," Pfohl said. "He, too, was taken to the hospital for treatment."

The officers managed to take the suspect back into custody.

How the suspect, who was in handcuffs, was able to pull out a knife and stab the officer remains under investigation.

"He was able to arm himself with his hands behind his back," Pfohl said.  

Officers strung crime tape around the scene and were interviewing witnesses.

Police did not release the man's name but said he is 60 years old. That turned out not to be the case, Pfohl explained in an update Wednesday morning.

"At the time of the initial investigation, the suspect in this case had not yet been identified," he explained in an email. "His age was determined to be 60 years old based on the information he initially provided the officers.  He has since been identified as a 34 year old [sic] male.  It is believed he was attempting to change his appearance to avoid detection for his outstanding warrants." 

Incidents like this are officers are always on the alert.

"Officers always have to be careful with whomever they contact," Pfohl said. "We’re always on guard for things like this. Fortunately in this case, the suspect was handcuffed and we don’t know if the officer’s guard was down at that point. You just can’t be too careful."

The officer who was stabbed has been with the department for 11 years. The other is a 22-year veteran.

[Google map: 17th Avenue & Van Buren Street]

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