A homeless man is in critical but stable condition with a stab wound resulting from his allegedly attacking a Metro police officer Friday morning in a downtown café restroom.
Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said officer Marty Crowder, a 23-year-veteran of the force, was using the urinal in the restroom at Provence next to the Main Library at approximately 10 a.m. Friday when James Collier entered the facility, locked the door and approached the officer.
Crowder told Collier, 43, to back off. When Collier refused the officer’s order and allegedly attempted to grab the officer’s gun, a scuffle ensued. Crowder pulled a knife from his vest area and stabbed Collier in the upper left leg, Aaron said.
“An officer at all costs will work to protect his firearm,” Aaron said, adding that officers are given the option to carry a knife on them and most do.
Both Crowder and Collier are at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The officer suffered minor cuts and abrasions, as well as being somewhat covered with the suspect's blood, during the incident.
Aaron said police have not determined a motive for the attack, and Collier has so far refused to talk with detectives investigating the incident.
Members of the force who work downtown have seen Collier in the Church Street Park area the past few months but had not considered him a problem. Crowder was on assignment to patrol the park when the incident occurred.
Police believe Collier is homeless. Aaron said Collier does not appear to have an arrest record in Nashville.