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KPD: Reward now $7,500 for information on suspect behind attack on officer

(WVLT)
Published: Nov. 17, 2018 at 11:42 PM EST
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UPDATE:

On Wednesday evening, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced that they were pledging $2,500 to the reward money for information on who attacked officer B.K. Hardin.

The reward stands at $7,500. Anyone with any information is asked to reach out to all 865-215-7212.

UPDATE:

KPD announced that the officer who was attacked on Saturday while directing traffic for the UT vs. Missouri game on 17th Street at Clinch Avenue has been released from the hospital. Authorities have conducted a ground search of the area.

According to Chief Thomas, B. K. Hardin is the officer who was injured. He was released and is reportedly making tremendous progress.

Police have still not arrested a suspect in the attack. According to Thomas, the FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the suspect.

Thomas said the suspect is a white male, in his 20s, and was seen wearing a black hoodie and gray sweatpants on the day of the attack. The suspect came up behind him and struck him with a hammer or "similar device," according to the chief.

On the day of the attack, an off-duty, out-of-county firefighter was on hand, had a medical kit in his vehicle and assisted. Hardin was then transported to UT Medical Center. "It is expected to be a couple of months before he will be able return to full duty," Chief Thomas said.

"One thing I really want to emphasize is that this event absolutely does not reflect the Knoxville community that we are proud to protect."

The attack appears to be totally random at this point.

STORY UPDATE:

A person of interest in the unprovoked attack on a KPD officer directing traffic was identified and interviewed Saturday night.

At the conclusion of the interview, the person of interest was released, and investigators are still asking any witnesses to the incident to please contact the department either through the crime information line or through the Knoxville Police Department’s Facebook page.

The crime information line is 865-215-7212. Callers can remain anonymous. Tips provided through Facebook @KnoxvillePD will also remain anonymous.

The officer violently attacked was hit in the back of the head with a hammer or some type of blunt object. An off-duty, out of county fire firefighter, who had a medical bag in his personal vehicle, immediately began rendering medical assistance to the officer.

The officer suffered a serious head injury and underwent immediate surgery. However, KPD said in a news release the surgery went well and the 51-year-old officer is recovering.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Knoxville police are searching for a man suspected of hitting an officer with a hammer while he was directing traffic Saturday night for the UT football game.

KPD says a person of interest was identified and interviewed overnight. The person of interest has been released.

KPD said the officer was directing traffic near the intersection of 17th Street and Clinch Avenue. Someone hit the officer with a hammer or other blunt object before running away.

KPD said an off-duty, out of county firefighter, who had a medical bag in his vehicle, began rendering medical assistance to the officer. KPD says the officer suffered a serious head injury and had to undergo immediate surgery. According to KPD, the surgery went well and the officer is recovering. The officer is 51-years-old and has been with KPD for seven years.

Police say the suspect is a white man in his 20's. The suspect is approximately 5' 10" to 6' tall and was wearing a black hoodie with gray sweatpants.

If you witnessed what happened or have information to solve this crime,

you can call the Knoxville Police Department's crime information line at 865-215-7212. Callers can remain anonymous. Anonymous tips can also be submitted on the Facebook page @KnoxvillePD.

Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas updating status of investigation concerning officer assaulted after Tennessee football game Saturday night. https://bit.ly/2DN5Ukf

Posted by WVLT on Monday, November 19, 2018

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