Md. man shot by police after holding knife to infant daughter

By Greg Garland
The Baltimore Sun

Editor's note -- A Midland police department (Texas) report indicates that cases of domestic violence increase during holidays. Experts say it could be because of the stress related to holidays, the expectations involving celebration, additional financial demands, leading also to alcoholism and narcotics for the stressed ones.   ¬©MyWestTexas.com 2006

A man who forced his way into his estranged girlfriend's Kent County apartment and held their 2-year-old daughter and a butcher knife while keeping police at bay was shot in the arm by a Rock Hall officer early yesterday, authorities said.

Clifton L. Blanchfield Jr., 25, refused orders to drop the knife and continued to lunge at a group of officers even after two attempts to disable him with a Taser stun gun, according to Rock Hall City Police Chief Steve Moore and a spokesman for Maryland State Police.

The incident took place about 1:30 a.m. at an apartment Blanchfield and his girlfriend had been sharing in the 300 block of Hadaway Drive, according to Sgt. Russell Newell, a spokesman for state police, which is investigating the shooting.

The woman had obtained a protective order requiring that Blanchfield stay away from her, Newell said. He said he did not know when it was issued.

Police gave this account:

Blanchard, who appeared to have been drinking heavily, forced his way into the apartment and confronted two women and two men inside. He picked up the toddler and grabbed a large butcher's knife.

Police said the two women fled and called 911. Blanchfield, meanwhile, knocked one the men onto a couch and held a knife to his throat briefly but the victim freed himself and escaped with the other man.

Police said that when officers from the Chestertown and Rock Hall City police departments arrived, they found Blanchfield sitting in a chair, yelling obscenities and stabbing the furniture near him, still holding the toddler. He refused to drop the knife despite repeated warnings, and knocked the child to the floor and charged the officers as they twice tried to subdue him with Taser jolts.

As Blanchfield lunged toward them with the knife and officers backed away, Rock Hall Officer Charles McCracklin fired his .40-caliber Beretta service pistol, wounding Blanchfield in the arm, police said. He was taken to Chester River Health Center.

McCracklin was placed on routine administrative leave while an investigation of the shooting is completed, police said.

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