DENVER – Two Denver Police officers are recovering after being attacked and bitten on the 16th Street Mall Tuesday evening. The suspect, 33 year old Imad Arrar was arrested for investigation of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, on average, 151 police officers are killed in the line of duty each year in this country, 49,000 are assaulted and 13,000 suffer injuries. Denver is no stranger to this trend. Now law enforcement groups are calling for an end to the violence against police officers.
Witnesses say the suspect was spitting on customers at Red Robin and Taco Bell. When officers got there, he got violent. Mariah told FOX31, “He really looked like he wanted to hurt somebody. That`s when he got physical. I seen him bite a police officer.”
According to arrest papers, one officer was bitten on the leg, another on the arm. "Both had broken skin. The suspect was also injured during the arrest and was bleeding. (---) were both exposed to the blood."
Jennifer Witkowski, who runs the Facebook page “Blue Lives Matter, Colorado”, says she's not only worried about the officers in this case, but about officers around the country that are being attacked every single day.
Witkowski said, “I just found it completely disgusting and horrifying for these officers. It`s not only the bite you have to deal with, but you got to deal with the medical issues that come along with a bite. They are the worst type of bite you can sustain. The human mouth is full of nothing but bacteria. We carry horrible diseases within us. It`s so discouraging to see this go on, the attitude we have in this country toward law enforcement, we are allowing our protectors to be hurt and we are not protecting them.”
According to DPD, last year 168 officers were assaulted. So far his year, there have already been 182 officers assaulted. Witkowski said, “We have to take a stand. We have to stand up and say this is wrong.” She says citizens need to become educated. She said, “One of the ways we become educated is do a ride along. Go through a night or day with an officer and see what it`s like.” She suggests attending a citizens academy or volunteering with your local police department or sheriff’s office.
She also said there needs to be harsher penalties for people who attack cops. “We need support from the President, to the governor to the mayor.”