Man charged in officer stabbing

July 17, 2009 12:52:36 PM PDT
A 14th district sergeant is recovering at Einstein Medical Center after being stabbed by a civilian, who has been determined by police to be mentally unstable. Thomas Burgess , 30, from the 1000 block of Rittenhouse Street was arrested Friday for stabbing Sergeant Wanda Newsome on Thursday. Burgess is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, simple assault, and other related offenses.

The incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon in the area of the 1000 block of East Rittenhouse Street.

Police were called in for a report of a man requiring mental treatment holding a knife. They called for assistance. Sergeant Wanda Newsome of the 14th District arrived with a taser. Investigators say she tasered Burgess, but he was still able to lunge at her and stab her twice in the left arm and shoulder.

Another officer then discharged their weapon and struck Burgess in the hand.

Police say it appears Newsome used a lot of restraint responding to the mentally disturbed person with a knife, trying to subdue him with a taser, though tasers have been known not to work on mentally ill patients.

Newsome was taken to Einstein Medical Center and she is listed in good condition. Officials say she is going to require surgery for her injuries.

Burgess was taken to Germantown Hospital after the incident.

Sgt. Newsome comes from a police family. Her brother is a sergeant in the 9th District, her sister is a corporal in internal affairs, and has an uncle whose a captain in night command.