06/24/2007

Wash. officer assaulted by graffiti vandals

The Associated Press

TACOMA, Wash. — A police officer was assaulted by four people early Saturday after he responded to calls about people spray painting graffiti on a fence.

The 40-year-old officer was radioing for backup when two suspects he was speaking with attacked him, police spokesman Mark Fulghum told The News Tribune. Two other suspects then joined in the attack, hitting and stomping on the officer, he said.

"At one point, they tried to get his gun out of his holster," he said.

A man who witnessed the attack jumped in to try to pull off the attackers while his wife called 911, Fulghum said.

Officers arrested three boys and one girl, ages 16 to 19, for investigation of first-degree assault. One of them was also arrested for investigation of attempting to disarm an officer.

The officer, who's been with Tacoma police for 12 years, was treated for bumps, bruises and cuts at Tacoma General Hospital.

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