Friday, April 27, 2001

Off-duty police officers report attack by crowd

The Associated Press

        LEXINGTON — Three off-duty Lexington police officers were attacked by 20 to 30 youths as the officers exercised at a recreation center, police said.

        The attackers didn't know they were officers at first, Police Chief Larry Walsh said. But once an officer identified himself and the others, the attack intensified and resulted in minor injuries.

        Shannon Garner, David Johnson and Lisa Rakes were jogging at the Dunbar Center about 5 p.m. Tuesday when several young people began harassing them. Officer Johnson identified himself as a police officer, but a mob surrounded and attacked the officers, Chief Walsh said.

        According to police reports, Officer Garner, 29, suffered a bloody nose, while Officer Johnson, 34, suffered cuts and scratches. All three officers worked Wednesday, Chief Walsh said.

        Although all three officers are white and their attackers were black, no one has specifically cited race as a reason for the assault, Chief Walsh said.

        “I don't know what the motivation was, but that certainly can't be ruled out,” he said.

        Two people were arrested Tuesday, and a warrant has been issued for a third person, Chief Walsh said.


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