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February 06, 2008
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Mass. officer stabbed by teenage EDP

Related PoliceOne article: 5 S.M.A.R.T. tips for approaching the emotionally disturbed

The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A Springfield police officer was stabbed in the chest Wednesday by a 14-year-old boy who had refused for days to get out of bed, authorities said.

Officer Kevin Fitzgerald, a 20-year veteran of the force, went to the apartment just before 11 a.m. after a call to police by the mother. The teen is a "special needs" student and has a history of violence, police spokesman John Delaney said.

The teen's mother said the boy had not been out of bed for two days, had not taken his medication for depression and was agitated. Police found him on the floor, surrounded by pillows with a blanket over him that hid his hands. He appeared to be in a catatonic-like state, Delaney said.

Police had responded to a similar call on Feb. 1, he said.

"We don't want to use the term routine call, but this is a call that officer in our department are dispatched (to) on a daily basis," Delaney said.

When Fitzgerald, 44, tried to lift the teen and take him to an ambulance, the boy stabbed him with a punching-like motion with a 4-inch paring knife, Delaney said. Fitzgerald was not wearing a bulletproof vest, and the blade went into his chest up to the handle.

A second officer disarmed the teenager.

Fitzgerald was taken to Baystate Medical Center with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

The boy was in the custody of juvenile authorities Wednesday afternoon, charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on a police officer.

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