Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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Trooper recovering after being stabbed near plaza

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Albany/HV: Trooper recovering after being stabbed near plaza
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Police are continuing their search for the person responsible for stabbing a New York State Trooper in the neck. It happened Sunday at the Empire State Plaza Concourse. The trooper is recovering in the hospital. Our Erin Moran has the latest.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- It was 3:15 p.m. Sunday when police said Trooper Rodney Smith was on duty at the Empire State Plaza. Smith began talking with a homeless man and that's when police say things got out of control.

State Police Captain William Keeler said, "During the course of the conversation, the subject produced a kitchen knife and without provocation struck Trooper Smith in the neck."

Police said the suspect then grabbed Trooper Smith's radio, ran up the stairs and out of the concourse, away from the scene. The knife was recovered at the scene, but the attacker did get away with the radio. Keeler said that can work to the investigators' advantage.

"He's got our radio, and it's possible that through that radio we can track his location or at some point it's one more piece of evidence that we'll have," said Captain Keeler.

Trooper Smith was taken to Albany Medical Center where he underwent surgery. He is now recovering and is expected to survive. Keeler said it's hard to watch one of his own go through something like this.

He said, "I guess it's a case of there before the grace of God go I. I mean, it's just something...I don't think about it on a daily basis. I'm sure police officers and troopers don't think about it. I suppose it could drive you nuts, but sure it bothers me that a fellow law enforcement officer was stabbed."

As troopers and Albany police continue to search for the suspect, it's now a matter of safety for not only law enforcement but the public as well.

Captain Keeler said, "It's just the fact that this individual is still out there is disconcerting to anybody. This was not a rational act, and if somebody would stab an armed trooper then who knows?"

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