An officer who responded to a report of an attempted break-in at a house in South Philadelphia on Saturday night is recovering from a punch to the face, police said Sunday.
The incident unfolded on Front Street in the city’s Whitman neighborhood at around 11 p.m. It began when a 17-year-old male was walking home with friends. At the corner of Front and Durfor Streets, the teen saw a man pacing and screaming. The teen ran into his nearby house and locked the door. When the teen peeked outside, he saw the agitated suspect walk toward the house and bang on the front door with his arm, splintering the glass. The teen inside called police.
As an officer from the 3rd District got out of his patrol car, the alleged assailant, whom police did not identify, said: “You’re about to get your a-- whooped.” The officer pushed away the man, who then took a “fighting stance,” raised his clenched fists, and punched the officer once in the face, according to a police spokesperson, Sgt. Eric Gripp.
The officer struck the 32-year-old suspect twice in the ribs with his department-issued baton. When the suspect still didn’t back off, the officer called for backup and deployed his Taser, Gripp said.
According to a police statement, the suspect “ripped the prongs” of the Taser out and headed south on Front Street, before turning on Fitzgerald Street. The officer followed him to the 100 block of Fitzgerald, where the man turned and told the officer not to mess with him. The officer then deployed his Taser a second time. Responding officers arrived and took the man to the ground, police said.