CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — The Clearwater Police Department says three of its officers are recovering from minor injuries after arresting a violent suspect with a knife.
Police say 36-year-old Justin Shuford beat his girlfriend and then pulled a knife on officers at Clearwater Beach Marina on Saturday at 10:47 p.m.
Shuford is in the Pinellas County Jail, charged with attempted murder in the first degree, two counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a weapon, resisting an officer with violence and domestic battery. He’s being held on $715,000 bond.
Kris Koroly was working at Salt Cracker Fish Camp when cops swarmed the marina parking lot on Causeway Boulevard.
“We walked out, the guy was on the ground being tased. He stabbed a cop. We saw blood around,” said Koroly.
Koroly shot cell phone video of Shuford on the ground.
He says Shuford’s girlfriend was sitting on a bench nearby bloodied and bruised.
“It was pretty busted up. Lip split, blood all down her face and her outfit. Good night went bad,” he said.
Good Samaritans from Crabby’s Dockside jumped in to help the woman.
When police arrived they found Shuford in front of Marina Cantina.
As police began to take him into custody, they realized he was armed with a small knife that he had concealed.
“He was fighting them the entire time. While they were trying to take him to the ground and get him into custody is when he produced a knife from somewhere on his person and slashed out at all three of the officers,” said Rob Shaw with the Clearwater Police Department.
One officer had several gashes to his leg. The other two received cuts to their hands. Police said it could have been worse.
“They could have been slashed in the face, they could have been slashed in the throat,” said Shaw.
Koroly said Shuford continued to be aggressive.
“He was screaming, but you could tell he wasn’t going to be cuffed, not unless he was forced to be,” said Koroly.
Each officer was treated at a nearby hospital for minor injuries.