Bay City News

Police Credit Airport Bystanders for Helping Officer Stabbed by Suspect

sfo stabbing-0926
Jean Elle/NBC Bay Area

Several bystanders at San Francisco International Airport came to the aid of an officer as he was attempting to detain a suspect who had just stabbed him during a confrontation Tuesday afternoon, according to police.

The incident began about 2:20 p.m., when officers at the airport responded to a report of a suspicious person in the roadway near Terminal One.

Upon arrival, an officer spotted the suspect near a baggage carousel and attempted to contact him. The suspect, however, turned and suddenly attacked the officer without provocation, stabbing him with a sharp object and swinging at him, police said.

The officer was able to knock the suspect to the ground and tried to detain him.

Several bystanders then came to the officer's aid and helped him detain the suspect. Others alerted officers at the nearby police substation about the attack, according to police.

Additional officers then responded to the area and arrested the suspect on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer and making a criminal threat. He's been identified as 64-year-old Dooris Johnston.

Johnston has been booked into the San Mateo County jail.

The 49-year-old officer, who is a 23-year veteran with the police department, was hospitalized and treated for stab wounds to his hand and leg and lacerations to his face and neck. He was released later that evening, police said.

"We spoke with the officer this morning and he is in great spirits and doing well. He is very relieved that no members of the public were hurt and that he was able to overcome this violent attack," SFPD Airport Bureau Deputy Chief Denise Schmitt said in a statement.

"He is thankful for the quick action of bystanders and especially the other airport employees who jumped in to assist him once he got the suspect on the ground. He and his family appreciate all the supportive messages they have received. His full recovery will take a while but he is looking forward to returning to the job he loves at SFO," Schmitt said.

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