LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — A Fort Collins police detective is recovering after being confronted and struck by a man in East Loveland.

It happened Thursday near Boise Avenue and East Eighth Street.

“I knew something bad had happened,” said Velena Shepard, who lives in the neighborhood. “They had the street tapped off. There were several police cars both in the front and back.”

The Loveland Police Department is the lead investigator in the case. But according to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, undercover Fort Collins Police Services detectives in plainclothes were conducting follow-up work related to a previous case.

While out there, they were approached by an acquaintance of the suspect in that case. The man confronted and ultimately struck one of the detectives, who suffered serious injuries. The detective was transported to an area hospital and is expected to recover.

“It’s disturbing to know there is someone this close to home assaulting people, especially an officer,” Shepard said.

“We need them for protection, and they are putting their lives on the line,” Shepard said.

Because of the severity of the detective’s injuries, the Critical Incident Response Team was activated.

The man was detained and interviewed by CIRT detectives at the Loveland Police Department, then was released pending further investigation. The district attorney will determine any appropriate charges.

The Fort Collins Police Department stated Friday, “We really appreciate the outpouring of support for our detective.”

Anyone with information or who witnessed the incident is asked to contact Loveland Police Detective Corey Richards at 970-962-2274.