A Springfield Police officer will be off the job for weeks after he was stabbed while struggling with an arson suspect Wednesday night.
Springfield Police said Officer Greg Vatrano will be out of work recovering for the next six weeks, but he can thank his “enhanced” bulletproof vest for saving his life.
Acting Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said 39-year-old Ruben Barrero stabbed officer Vatrano in the chest Wednesday night. Clapprood said Officer Vatrano chased Barrero after Barrero’s Vermont Street home was intentionally set on fire.
Commissioner Clapprood said there was a violent struggle when Barrero allegedly stabbed Vatrano in the chest with a kitchen knife.
The knife went through Vatrano’s shirt and vest, but did not penetrate his skin due to the trauma plate inserted in his body armor.
“The hit to the chest was so loud he heard from a little bit of ways,” said Acting Commissioner Clapprood. “The two began to struggle violently on the ground with Mr. Barrero on top of Officer Vatrano, he was delivering blows to the officers head and body.”
Clapprood said Vatrano suffered cuts, bruises, and a broken hand, but he’s home recovering.
Barrero was held without bail at his arraignment Thursday. He’s scheduled to undergo a mental evaluation before his next court date.