Officer Edward O'Byrne, Jr. and Officer Kirby Croft
Two Eastern District Officers Stabbed September 9, 1977 Officer Edward O'Byrne, Jr. The evening of September 9th had been routine when Officers Kirby R. Croft and Edward P. O'Byrne, Jr., Eastern District, received a call to meet a Northern District Unit. The officer had a disturbing the peace warrant for a 38 year old male, which had been obtained by his sister. She said that her brother, recently released from a mental institution, was acting strangely. The officers went to the house and an additional unit was assigned to watch the rear entrance. They were let in by the suspect's grandmother who said that he was asleep. The officers went up the stairs and were lead down the dark hallway by the suspect's sister who called for her brother and opened the door. The suspect came out swinging with a 9" folding knife which had a 4" blade. Surprising the officers he was able to stab both before they could subdue him or call for additional help. He first stabbed Officer Croft in the lower abdomen causing him to fall and then wheeled around and stabbed Officer O'Byrne several times. Although injured, both officers were able to disarm the suspect, subdue him and call for assistance. Once he was under control and adequate back-up units arrived, both officers were transported to an area hospital.
Officer Kirby Croft Officer Croft was admitted for treatment of the stab wound of the abdomen and was released two days later. Officer O'Byrne was treated for stab wounds to the chin, the left elbow, the right hand, the right side and an injury to his right hand and was then released from the hospital. A later examination of Officer Edward O'Byrne's clothing told a more chilling story than the incident itself. There was a 1/2 inch wide hole in the officer's right front shirt pocket and inside the pocket was Officer O'Byrne's J.D. carrying case which had been cut half-way through. The knife though, did not penetrate through the case nor the soft body armor the officer was wearing nor did he receive injury as a result of the thrust. Another hole was on the right side of the shirt about 5 inches from the shirt pocket hole. The same area of the soft body armor showed a puncture as did the officer's undershirt. The officer received a slight puncture wound as a result of this thrust. A third hole was discovered through the shirt in the upper stomach area. Examination of the soft body armor revealed that this thrust had only penetrated half way through and there was no injury as a result. Both officers agree that the suspect must have heard them come in and was waiting for them to come to the bedroom. The incident took only a few seconds in the dark hallway and Officer O'Byrne didn't even realize he was stabbed until they had disarmed and subdued the suspect. Officer O'Byrne believes that had it not been for his ID. case and the soft body armor his injuries would have been more disabling if not fatal. Experts in the field of blunt trauma agree that the force used to penetrate the Department's soft body armor would be disabling if not fatal to an individual not wearing it