SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield police officer has been hospitalized after he was allegedly struck in the head with a hammer during a disturbance.
Springfield Police Spokesman Ryan Walsh told 22News, officers were called to Fenwick Street around 5:45 a.m. Thursday for a disturbance involving 61-year-old Leon Moultri, who is a retired police officer. According to Walsh, police have had at least 20 encounters with Moultrie since March.
During the incident, Moultrie allegedly struck an officer in the head with hammer. Officers then tased Moultrie and took him into custody. Walsh said the injured officer is expected to recover.
The officer has only been identified as a 25 year veteran of the department.
“Thank god our officer is going to be okay, but this is another example of why you will always have to have police officers respond to mental health or psych calls. It’s flat out dangerous to think you can send unarmed clinicians to these types of calls without any support from police officers. The behavior of the individual involved is often times violent and can cause serious harm or death in an instant,” said Commissioner Clapprood.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “These are the dangerous situations that our brave and dedicated police officers face day in and day out. Even with de-escalation efforts, this is how quickly an incident call can turn violent. Tremendous restraint was shown by our officers. I have wished our injured officer and their family good health, a speedy recovery, and encouragement.”
Leon Moultrie is charged with the following:
- Assault with Intent to Murder
- Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon