A four-year veteran with the Sour Lake (TX) Police Department was severely beaten by a 45-year-old Kentucky man who then stole his police SUV and eluded officers until he was eventually apprehended and arrested.

According to a news release from the Hardin County Sheriff's Office, the assailant—whose name has not yet been released—was the cause of a disturbance at a local convenience store.

The officer who responded to the call—59-year-old William J. McKeon, Jr.—is said to be in critical but stable condition. 

McKeon, who was flown to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, sustained severe facial injuries Hardin County Chief Deputy Kenny Davenport told 12 News.

Hardin County Sheriff Mark Davis described McKeon's injury Monday night as a "traumatic head injury" and Sour Lake Police Chief Aaron Burleson reported that the officer was in the ICU.

McKeon will be undergoing several surgeries in his recovery.