Police: Man ambushed and stabbed Appleton Police Officer

Published: Mar. 31, 2020 at 12:43 PM CDT
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A 49-year-old man is facing a charge of attempted homicide after ambushing an Appleton Police Officer and stabbing the officer multiple times, according to Police Chief Todd Thomas.

The suspect has been identified as Troy J. VanGrinsven of Kaukauna.

On March 31, at about 2:17 a.m., an Appleton Police Officer traveling in a marked squad noted another vehicle had been following him for "an extended distance." The officer drove to the police department and notified other officers. They had received a report of similar incident that happened in another jurisdiction.

Officers tried to stop the vehicle. The driver fled, but officers did not pursue him "because of the lack of any serious charges."

At about 4:15 a.m., the officer who had been followed earlier in the night was in the Appleton Police Department parking lot. He got out of his squad and saw the suspect vehicle parked nearby. He also saw a man standing near the employee entrance.

That's when the man ambushed the officer and stabbed him several times, police say.

"The subject had concealed his right hand behind his leg and appeared to be holding something in it. The officer created distance between him and the individual, while trying to identify what the male was concealing. The male attacked the officer. During the attack, the subject stabbed the officer several times with a kitchen-style knife. The officer fought back and brought the male on the ground. Additional officers responded and were able to get the subject under control and into custody. One of the other officers involved also suffered a cut, from the subject’s knife, to one of their hands," reads a statement from Chief Thomas.

The officers were treated and released from the hospital.

The man, identified as VanGrinsven, was taken to a hospital for medical treatment. When he is released, he will be transported to jail.

Police are requesting charges of Attempted 1st Degree Intentional Homicide and Battery of a Police Officer.

Thomas says the department will not release the names of the officers.

“It is only because of the outstanding tactical skills, and the mental and physical fitness of the officer involved, that this incident didn’t end more tragically. These are the threats that all our law enforcement officers are facing more frequently. No matter what uniform they wear, we thank all of them, and their family members, for the sacrifices they make every day to serve their communities," says Chief Thomas.

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