Police: Suspect sucker-punched cop, threw his Taser in the Mon
A man is headed to jail after he allegedly threatened people on a South Side trail, sucker punched the responding officer, took his Taser, tossed it down a hillside, ran off and was eventually apprehended by a police dog Thursday afternoon.
He might also be an arson suspect, police said.
The incident began about 12:15 p.m. when an officer responded to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail near the Hot Metal Bridge for a report of a man harassing a woman and threatening other people on the trail, according to Public Safety spokesman Chris Togneri.
The officer encountered the suspect – whose name has not been released – near the corner of South Water and Hot Metal streets, and the man promptly sucker-punched the officer in the face and knocked him to the ground, Togneri said.
The officer attempted to use his Taser on the man, but it was ineffective, Togneri said. The suspect wrestled the Taser away from the officer but didn’t know how to use it, so he instead ran and tossed it toward the Monongahela River.
More police arrived, and a K9 was released as the suspect took off on the trail, Togneri said.
The officer was taken to the hospital with injuries to his head, palms and knees. The suspect was taken to the hospital with bite wounds. Once released, he will charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, disarming an officer and robbery.
Police said the man also matches the description of an arson suspect who, several hours earlier, attempted to start a car fire on Sycamore Street.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.