We’ve learned more today about last night’s incident in which a police officer suffered a knife injury to the hand – and the suspect arrested and jailed in the case.
First, SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson tells us the officer’s injury was not major – he was treated at a hospital and released shortly thereafter. As we reported last night, he says, it started with the officer noticing graffiti vandalism in progress on a fence at Delridge and Henderson; he pulled over and made contact with the suspect, who tried to run – a brief struggle ensued, the officer got the suspect under control, called for backup, and after another officer arrived, the suspect started fighting, and at some point the officer discovered he had a laceration to the hand. A knife was found at the scene.
Today we’ve learned the suspect is 20-year-old Jorge Cruz-Benitez, who was arrested and charged in November of last year for allegedly breaking into a Highland Park house while the people who live there – including three children – were asleep. (One of the adult residents tracked him down and widely shared his first-person story.) While Cruz-Benitez was originally held in lieu of $30,000 bail in that case, court documents show that a judge allowed him into an alternative custody program in early December after two and a half weeks in jail, and it was to include treatment for substance abuse. Along with investigation of assault, he is being held right now for investigation of violating drug laws.