Officer Matt Holton of the Greenville (NC) Police Department was attacked Wednesday night by a suspect who had been arrested for armed robbery, according to the Department, reports WNCT.
According to the agency, Bobby Ray Lankford Jr., 24, was being brought in for questioning when he told the arresting officer his handcuffs were too tight. When Holton attempted to loosen the handcuffs, Lankford attacked the officer right outside of the Police Department in Uptown Greenville.
"This suspect was fully intent on hurting our officer. Not escaping, but hurting our officer. He even tried to take his weapon off his belt, which we know what that ends in: a deadly situation," said Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman.
Video surveillance showed the suspect slamming Holton to the concrete, assaulting him numerous times and dragging the officer while attempting to grab the officer’s weapon. During the assault, Lankford, Jr. said he would kill Officer Holton.
An off-duty firefighter and another Good Samaritan saw the altercation and stepped in to help. GPD said it is likely the officer could have been killed if the two had not intervened.
Officer Holton sustained visible injuries but was released from the hospital Thursday.