2020-12-23 by W.M.
3 Hamilton police officers have knife wounds to face and head after downtown altercation
Three police officers in Hamilton have knife injuries to the face and head but are in stable condition, after an incident with a “person in crisis” in the city’s downtown core.
Hamilton Paramedic Service has confirmed that four people, including three police officers, were assessed at about 3:20 p.m. on Tuesday.
Const. Krista-Lee Ernst wouldn’t confirm specifics but said the officers had “stab and slash wounds” on the face and head.
Dave Thompson, a superintendent with Hamilton EMS, confirmed that paramedics treated four people for “various injuries.”
“Three patients were subsequently transported to hospital,” he said in an email. “Three of the patients assessed being Hamilton police officers.
“Our thoughts continue to be with all involved this afternoon.”
In a media release Tuesday evening, police said officers were called to James Street North and Robert Street about a man who was “acting erratically” and reportedly had a weapon.
A 24-year-old from Oakville, Ont., is charged with three counts of aggravated assault of a police officer, four counts of resisting arrest and one count of possession of weapon for a dangerous purpose.
Police say it was an isolated incident and there’s no concern for public safety.
Maria Amaral, who owns the International Fish Market on James Street North near the scene, said she saw a man shouting and talking to himself while walking up and down the street.
So did Greg Bessette, who said the man moved from the sidewalk out into the street. That’s where the man was when police arrived to apprehend him, he said.
“No one was bugging him,” Bessette said. “He was just up and down the street yelling different stuff.”
The officers attempted to Taser the man, Bessette said, but it “didn’t seem to be very effective.”
Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who also chairs the Hamilton Police Services Board, said late Tuesday afternoon that he was still learning details but heard that the officers were getting stitches.
“I’m of course concerned about the officers and concerned about the individual who’s at the hospital,” he said.
“These are the kind of incidents that police unfortunately deal with all too often.”