DC police officer stabbed with scissors, citizen jumps in to help

A D.C. officer is expected to be OK after he was stabbed in the head, shoulders and back with a pair of scissors in the downtown area, according to police.

The 19-year police veteran was responding to a call of a man assaulting a woman and saw Robert Redding, 61, nearby who matched the suspect description, said Chief Peter Newsham during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

The officer began following Redding. After the officer followed Redding in his cruiser and on foot for a few blocks from the area of Franklin Square while repeatedly asking him to stop, Newsham said that Redding turned around at 13th Street and New York Avenue Northwest and began stabbing the officer.

“He suffered some pretty serious wounds to his head, back and shoulder. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment,” Newsham told reporters.

The officer’s injuries could have been worse if John Burrows did not intervene. Burrows, who is homeless, told NBC Washington he knew the officer under attack tried to help him.

“It does make me feel good to see that a guy who our police officer developed a relationship with was willing to put himself in jeopardy to protect one of our police officers. That’s something we won’t forget. It was very, very kind — very heroic,” Newsham said of Burrows.

Other D.C. police officers soon arrived at the scene and took Redding into custody.

The officer was rushed to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Redding is charged with assault with intent to kill and felony assault on a police officer. It’s unclear what the motive was for the stabbing, Newsham said.

There is now a GoFundMe campaign to help Burrows, who risked his life to save the officer’s life.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up