Mob Of Teens Attack Off-Duty Cop After He Defends Homeless Man In Park

An off-duty officer was the target of a brazen attack on Thursday afternoon.

Sarasota, FL – An off-duty Sarasota police officer was viciously attacked by a group of teens on Thursday afternoon, after he intervened while the youths were harassing and assaulting a homeless man.

The incident occurred just after 12 p.m., as the off-duty officer was jogging in Payne Park near the Sarasota Police Department (SPD), WWSB reported.

He came upon a group of approximately five teenagers who were pushing, harassing, and striking a homeless man, so he ordered them to stop and identified himself as an SPD officer, the department said in a press release.

The crew turned away from the homeless man, and instead attacked the officer, striking him multiple times.

“[He] came up trying to break it up, saying ‘Let’s not have this right here,’ then they kinda started ganging up on him, started beating him up,” witness Zach Farley told WTVT.

Then they ran off.

The officer suffered minor injuries as a result of the brazen attack, but the homeless man was not hurt, WTVT reported.

William Schlenger said that he and his brother, who are also homeless, know the man who the teens were picking on.

“He’s pretty peaceful and never had any issues with anybody, no altercations or anything,” Schlenger told WTVT. “So, we were kinda caught off-guard to hear that someone attacked him… it’s sad, you know, he’s down on his luck and definitely doesn’t need violence around, that’s for sure.”

Schlenger said he doubted that the teens should have even been at the park at that time of day.

“They probably should have been in school if they’re teenagers, so what are they doing out here attacking people?” he said.

Sarasota police flooded the park after the altercation, but the teens have not yet been located, according to WTSP.

“It’s not something that particularly happens here and it’s not something that happens to one [of] our own,” SPD Public Information Officer Genevieve Judge told the Herald-Tribune. “We’re looking for those responsible. We’re just glad the officer is OK.”

Comments (35)
No. 1-13
LEO0301
LEO0301

Hmmmm, I wonder why there is no description of the teenagers?

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

Glad the officer and the homeless man he was defending are OK. As I've said before - LEOs are heroes, in or out of uniform. And the teachers/parents are not aware that their students/precious darlings were not in school? One would expect this story to be in Chicago or New York, but not in Florida. Oh wait, there are significant populations of non-whites there.

Commander_Thorn
Commander_Thorn

Hopefully these hooligans are found,and punished severely.

JBo
JBo

Always carry...even when jogging...or mowing the yard.

retired blue
retired blue

On was arrested at 2:30 this morning. He apparently is no stranger to LE.

OneAdam12
OneAdam12

The lack of description of these "teens" makes me suspicious.

Saints
Saints

Here's the real question... when this JACKASSES get/are caught, what is our judicial system really going to do "a small slap on their wrist" and out the door!!!????......

HFD120
HFD120

And if the LEO had defended himself and one of these sweet, misunderstood little darlings had as much as a scratch on them I am certain the moral outrage from the community and media would have been deafening.

stooge819
stooge819

Those darn vaguely described teens again

Skidoo
Skidoo

Any ideas or suggestions for a decent holster that holds up to jogging comfortably? I carry a Ruger snubbie.

Woobie46
Woobie46

Sue these kids. This seems to be the best way to get the attention of the people who do this and their families who brought them up to beat up poor people. Sue sue sue sue sue!

AuntB
AuntB

Why not call them what they are.....a gang!

MajScallywag
MajScallywag

Use a fanny pack while jogging