09/05/2007

Slashed N.Y. officer survives near miss with death

The Associated Press
Related: N.Y. officer slashed in neck released from hospital

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — A police officer was hospitalized and a mental patient was in custody Wednesday after police said the man slashed the officer in the neck.

Seth Dawson, 19, was arrested after police said he cut officer Adam Baker in the neck. He will be charged with first-degree assault, a felony, according to the Saratoga County District Attorney's office.

Dawson will not have the opportunity to request bail until his mental status is determined.

Police Chief Ed Moore said Baker, 30, was still conscious when he was evacuated by helicopter.

Baker was in fair condition late Wednesday after undergoing surgery to close the wound.

Moore said Baker approached Dawson by himself, but two other officers arrived in time to see Dawson pull his hands out of his pockets and slash Baker across the jugular with what appeared to be a razor blade or a box cutter.

The two officers then took Dawson into custody.

Police said Dawson was an outpatient at Four Winds Hospital _ a mental health treatment center. He had wandered about two-thirds of a mile away from the hospital when Baker confronted him.

Murphy was not aware of Dawson having any history of violent conduct.

Officials for Four Winds would not confirm Dawson had been a patient, citing privacy laws. Hospital officials did confirm they had contact with authorities Wednesday regarding the incident.

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