Manitoba·Updated

Police officer stabbed 5 times near Brandon University identified as Const. Marc DeDecker

Police in Brandon, Man., have confirmed the identity of an officer who was stabbed near Brandon University Monday afternoon.

DeDecker stabbed 4 times in leg, once in chest while trying to arrest arson suspect, police say

Brandon police say one of their officers was stabbed in an incident near the city's university Monday afternoon. (Sean Kavanagh/CBC)

Police in Brandon, Man. have confirmed the identity of an officer who was stabbed near Brandon University Monday afternoon.

Const. Marc DeDecker, 31, was the officer who was stabbed five times while trying to arrest a suspect in connection with arson in the city earlier in the day, Sgt. Kevin McLean said Tuesday afternoon. 

Police and fire crews were called to a building in the 1200 block of Rosser Avenue at about 4:30 p.m. Monday after reports of a fire. When officers arrived they were told that a 19-year-old, who lived in the building, was witnessed smashing windows and setting his apartment ablaze.

A sprinkler system in the property had extinguished most of the flames by the time crews arrived, police said. But a 19-year-old, who is known to police, was caught on surveillance footage.

Officer searching for arson suspect

A Brandon police officer headed for the university at about 5:20 p.m. in search of the suspect and another male. He spotted them in the area of 20th Street and Lorne Avenue, police said.

DeDecker got out of his cruiser and approached the 19-year-old suspect and his 16-year-old brother, and the 19-year-old started a fight with the officer, police said.

The officer thought he was being punched when in fact the suspect had a small knife in his hand and was stabbing DeDecker with each blow, police said. The suspect stabbed the officer four times in the leg and once in the chest, nicking his lung in the process, police said.

​The suspect's 16-year-old brother was armed, too, but did not get involved, police said.

"He was in possession of a weapon, this being bear spray, but didn't take it out or use it. He just kind of stood there," McLean said.

Other officers arrived on scene and arrested both suspects. They remain in custody.

DeDecker was taken to hospital in stable condition. He was released Monday night and is now at home recovering with his family, police said. He has been with the Brandon Police Service for six years. He is married and the father of an infant.

"We hope that things like this don't happen in small town Brandon, but unfortunately they do," McLean said.

First Brandon police officer stabbed on duty

The 19-year-old Brandon man has been charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer, arson, disregard for human life and mischief under $5,000. 

More charges are possible, McLean said.

McLean believes it's the first time a Brandon officer has been injured this way on the job.

"We've had injuries before," McLean told CBC News Tuesday morning. "Separated shoulders, bruising, cuts from a scuffle, but nothing of this magnitude." 

The Brandon Police Service will review the incident, he said. Workplace Health and Safety has also been notified. 

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