Suspect assaults Tumwater police officer with a hammer

Staff writerSeptember 10, 2013 

A suspect ambushed a Tumwater police officer and struck him in the head multiple times with a hammer at an apartment in the 300 block of T Street SW Monday night.

The officer, a 28-year-old man, suffered "two significant lacerations" to his head, and was treated and released from an area hospital Monday night, Tuwmater Police Detective Jen Kolb said.

The suspect, Mark Thomas, 23, was ordered held at the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of first-degree assault during a court hearing Tuesday. Thomas' bail was set at $100,000, though he also has a no bail hold for his outstanding warrant from the state Department of Corrections.

The police officer had responded to the apartment about 8:45 Monday night on a report of a runaway at the apartment, as well as to find Thomas in connection with his outstanding felony warrant, Kolb said.

Officers made contact with the renter of the apartment, and inquired about the runaway and Thomas. The renter indicated both subjects were in the apartment.

When the 28-year-old officer stepped inside the apartment, Thomas exited the bathroom located next to the front door and ambushed the officer, hitting him in the head several times with the hammer, court papers state.

The officer then retreated from the apartment, and Thomas closed the front door. Thomas later gave himself up, at the urging of the others in the apartment.

The Tumwater police officer who was struck, Austin Cady, "appeared to be dazed and confused" after being hit, and "was bleeding profusely from the head," court papers state.

Thomas was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault, and was booked at the Thurston County Jail. Three other subjects in the apartment also were arrested on warrants.

The juvenile runaway also was located in the apartment and released to a guardian.

Thomas has a long criminal history that includes felony convictions for assault and for violating a no contact order, Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon said in court Tuesday.

Kolb said Tuesday that Cady is unable to return to active duty due to his injuries, and will need to be further evaluated. Cady has been with the Tumwater Police Department for less than a year, after moving here from the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office in Idaho, she said. 

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445

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