Scottville police officer assaulted.

May 18, 2015

scottville police car 2By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — A Scottville Police Officer received minor injuries after he was assaulted by a man with a knife early Sunday morning.

The assault took place at Thornwild Apartments about 2:55 a.m. between Officer Scott Fessenden and a 79-year-old man. According to a police report, the police department was initially called to the man’s apartment at 1:38 a.m. The man called 911 for an undetermined reason but “appeared confused.”

Officer Fessenden arrived at the apartment and stated in his report that the man was surprised to see him. The man told the officer that he called 911 because his son had gone fishing and had not yet returned. While the man seemed slightly confused, he also answered questions correctly, such as his name, address and date of birth. The officer then called Adult Protective Services central registry, made contact with a worker who stated the current conditions of the man did not seem to constitute immediate intervention.

The officer eventually left the scene.

At 2:55 a.m. the man called 911 again. This time the man stated that there were people outside his residence trying to kill him and other people.

Officer Fessenden knocked on the door and the man responded that the door was broken and that the officer was going to have to knock it down. The man then said “Can you feel that?” The officer askeed what he was referring to. “This 12 inch steak knife that I’m going to (expletive) kill you with.”

The officer then stepped back away from the door and the man opened the door and allegedly lunged towards the officer with a 10-inch butcher knife. Officer Fessenden retreated several feet while calling for backup on the radio. When running out of room to retreat, he reached for his sidearm and gave the man repeated orders to drop the knife.

The man shook his head no, according to the police report, and progressed towards the officer with his knife raised. The officer then chose to use pepper spray instead of discharging his firearm, the report stated, which stunned the man. Officer Fessenden then took the man to the ground, the man continued to physically resist, threatening the officer’s life. Fessenden eventually was able to handcuff the man.

Deputies from Mason County Sheriff’s Office also arrived on scene and EMS and fire department first responders were called. The man was transported to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital by ambulance. Scottville Police Chief Don Riley said Officer Fessenden received a cut to his thumb and to his arm, non of which were life-threatening.  

Riley said he would have supported Officer Fessenden no matter which defensive tactic he took. Riley said, including the two calls Sunday morning, police have been called to the apartment six times. He said the man was not charged because his issue seems to be a medical condition. Police are working with the man’s family to prevent any further danger to the public or first responders, Riley said.