Two Los Angeles police officers were bitten by a suspect, one of them several times, while responding to an incident at a cellphone store in Tarzana on Monday night, police said.
Two officers responded to a robbery in progress at the AT&T Store at 18640 Ventura Blvd. around 7:15 p.m., said Sgt. Chad Lewis with the Los Angeles Police Department.
The pair happened to be blocks away and were able to arrive at the scene within minutes. As they were trying to arrest the suspect, who had begun loading products into a bag, the man bit them, according to investigators.
“The lady who was working at the store observed him acting suspiciously, at which time he put an item inside his backpack," Lewis said. "She got scared,” so she activated the store's panic alarm.
One 35-year-old male officer was suffering multiple bite wounds, while a second officer was also treated for bite marks, according to Tony Im in the LAPD's media relations department.
They were both taken to the Providence Tarzana Medical Center and treated for contusions, bumps and bruises, Lewis said.
The suspect involved in the incident was described only as a 30-year-old man. He was also treated for injuries sustained when the officers used a stun gun in attempting to detain him.
Witnesses reported that there were quite a few customers in the store as the scene unfolded.
Onlookers also said the man appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance due to his erratic behavior.
A man who gave his name as Yoni said he was dining at a Starbucks across the street from the AT&T Store and witnessed the entire altercation.
“He was actually packing stuff in his backpack,” he said. “There was a bunch of cops running in and tackled the suspect to the floor right behind a poster, and he was resisting a lot.”
Police are continuing to investigate the incident, and no further details were immediately available.