2 officers attacked, injured by man they tried to help

SEATTLE - Officers responding to a call about a man in crisis were attacked by the man they were trying to help early Tuesday evening in North Seattle, police said.

The incident began around 6 p.m. when two officers were dispatched to help a mother locate her 37-year-old son, who she said was in the midst of a mental crisis. She said her son had left their home and was wandering the neighborhood and may be suffering from schizophrenia.

With the help of witnesses, officers were able to find the suspect, who immediately ran off when he saw them arrive. Soon afterward they received calls that a man matching the suspect's description had broken into a home in the 13900 block of 4th Avenue NE, said Patrick Michaud of the Seattle police.

Officers quickly found the suspect, who had now left the home and had armed himself with a clothes hanger and keys placed in-between his fingers.

The suspect approached a group of teenagers, and one of the officers placed himself between the suspect and the teens.

As the suspect came nearer to the officer, he dropped the hanger and punched the officer in the neck, Michaud said. The officer was able to wrestle the suspect to the ground, and with assistance from other officers was able to get him into custody.

The assaulted officer sustained a knee injury, and another responding officer received a shoulder injury in the melee. Both officers were taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment.

The suspect was booked into King County Jail for investigation of assault and burglary.