Man sentenced for attacking Hattiesburg officer with knife

Pine Belt

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – A man has been sentenced for attacking a police officer with a knife in Hattiesburg. According to District Attorney Lin Carter, Johnnie Earl Williams will serve 30 years for his conviction of aggravated assault.

On April 22, 2018, the Hattiesburg Police Department responded to a report of a man walking with a large kitchen knife in his hand at North Hill Place Apartments at 200 Cahal Street in Hattiesburg. Officer Dawn Garcia was the first to arrive and saw Williams walking in a circle around the apartment complex. Officer Garcia attempted to speak with him, but Williams would not answer any questions.

Later, several officers arrived at the scene and offered Williams water, an ambulance, or anything to de-escalate the situation. Police said a mental health counselor was called to the scene, as well as Williams’ mother and sister. Still, Williams would not answer any of them.

Investigators said Williams then sprinted towards Officer Garcia with his knife raised. Backing away from Williams, Garcia tripped on the curb of the sidewalk and fell back backward, striking her head on a fire hydrant.

As Williams got closer to Garcia, he was tasered by officers of the Hattiesburg Police Department. Williams fell on top of Garcia and stabbed her with the knife in the chest area. The knife broke into two pieces, because Garcia had on a protective vest.

Williams was then arrested by officers without injury.

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