During an otherwise routine traffic stop in Fort Gibson, Okla., officer Brent Maddocks experienced what is hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime attack. As he spoke with the driver of a Jeep he had pulled over, Maddocks had no idea 26-year-old Jessica Lugo was slowly approaching him from the opposite direction.
“At first it just felt like somebody hit me,” he said of the encounter.
In reality, however, he was lucky to have avoided serious injury as Lugo attempted to stab him in the back with a pair of scissors. Fortunately for the officer, his protective vest shielded him from the unprovoked attack.
“She just started coming at me, slashing the scissors,” he said of the woman who, just moments earlier, was reportedly enjoying a cigarette break outside of a nearby warehouse.
While he backed away, avoiding further injury to unprotected parts of his body, Maddocks acted quickly to neutralize the very real threat. He said he immediately thought of the family in the nearby vehicle and chose to fire his Taser at Lugo instead of using his service pistol.
In the end, everyone survived; and Lugo was taken into custody where she faces a charge of assault and battery with a deadly weapon on a police officer. There appears to be no relationship between Lugo and the nearby traffic stop, leading Maddocks to chalk the ordeal up as just another unexpected risk of his profession.
“It’s an experience, and we take it and we learn from it and we adapt and overcome,” he said.
Many see his quick-thinking, which helped save his and other lives, as a positive conclusion to the incident – especially as accusations of excessive force by police officers seem to appear on a daily basis.
Still, the conversation among officers themselves is largely divided.
PoliceOne.com, which allows law enforcement professionals to opine on relevant issues, displayed dozens of comments – many of which chastised Maddocks for using less-than-lethal force.
“Let’s hope some idiot wearing brass does not commend him for this and leads the public into believing this was hoe [sic] we handle such incidents,” one commenter wrote.
“Not second guessing,” another stated, “but wish he had shot her. How long before she’s out of jail looking for her next opportunity to hurt or kill a cop.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom