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Shoplifting Suspect Accused of Stabbing Police Officer in Face, Throat

A Flower Mound, Texas, police officer was stabbed in the face Friday in a confrontation with a man accused of shoplifting, police said.  At approximately 10 p.m., Academy Sports and Outdoor called to report a shoplifter at the store. Officer Christopher Coots was the first to arrive on the scene and approached Nikoli Duras Williford, 18, who was reportedly trying to make off with $577 worth of items, including a new pair of boots, a hoodie and other clothing, police Captain Wess Griffin said.

Williford started to run away but Coots caught up with him when he ran into the EAS equipment near the door. Coots tried to take him to the ground to handcuff him, but Williford reportedly pulled a stiletto knife out of a sheaf and stabbed the officer, Griffin said. The knife went into the officer’s face, near where the jaw hinges on the skull, and punctured the back of Coots’ throat, he said. “Chris still had the presence of mind to stay in the fight,” he said. “It was a very violent confrontation, but he was able to maintain control. “Two witnesses helped try to get Williford in handcuffs, but he continued to resist. When the second officer arrived, Williford was tazed and handcuffed.

Coots was hospitalized for his injuries and was released two days later. He is expected to make a full recovery and return to duty, Griffin said. Williford, of Denton, Texas, was booked into the Denton County Jail. He has been charged with aggravated assault of a public servant and theft of property. Bail has been set at $65,500.He was charged earlier this year with injury to a child, elderly or disabled person, and in 2016 with sexual assault of a child. [Source: The Dallas Morning News]

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