Suspect beats UT officer with baton - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Suspect beats UT officer with baton

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A police baton is meant to help an officer subdue a suspect, but one was wrestled away from a University of Tennessee Health Science Center officer who was then beaten on the head.

"He was injured to the degree that he had to be hospitalized for a short period," said Sheila Champlin, Communications and Marketing Director at the UT Health Science Center.

It happened just after 11:00pm Monday near Madison and Manassas, as the officer approached a man about loitering after hours in Forrest Park.  Park rules prohibit visitors after sundown.

"And that individual started to run and the incident unfolded after that," Champlin said.

At some point, the 31-year-old suspect was able to get the 62-year-old officer's baton away from him.

"I'm sure he did the best he could do to protect himself and to protect others," Champlin said.

Champlin said the officer, Sgt. Talton Ballard, has been with UT Police for more than six years, and has previous law enforcement experience.

He was rushed to the nearby MED in critical condition after the attack, but has since been released.

"There is not a timeline about when he will return at this point," Champlin said.

According to Champlin, the incident is another example of the criminal element with which campus cops occasionally deal.

"Crime is, unfortunately, the kind of thing that occurs everywhere," she said.

Memphis Police are now handling the investigation.  They have the suspect in custody, but he has not yet been charged.

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