Police officer stabbed near Downtown Phoenix

- Two Phoenix Police officers were taken to the hospital, after a struggle with a suspect in handcuffs Tuesday.

The incident reportedly happened outside a convenience store in the area of 17th Avenue and Van Buren in Downtown Phoenix, and the suspect allegedly stabbed one of the officers in the leg.

According to Phoenix Fire Department officials, the officer stabbed is a 22-year Phoenix Police veteran, and the other officer, an 11-year veteran, suffered minor injuries while fighting with a suspect.

The two officers were reportedly checking out a report of a suspicious person at the convenience store, when the incident took place. Shantel Brown, who lives in the area, said she a suspicious man in a white van Tuesday morning.

"I asked him, 'hey, what are you doing here?'" Brown recounted. "He was, like, his wife kicked him out, his friend told him this was a good spot to live. I was, like, 'no, it's not, you got to leave'."

Brown said she was the one who reported the man to the two officers. The convenience store the officers were at is located next to Brown's house.

"I just wanted him out of the neighborhood, seeing as the police was just right there," said Brown.

The white van was parked at the convenience store minutes later, and when the officers checked out the van, they found it was reported stolen. The man was immediately detained, and was handcuffed behind his back.

While officers were questioning the man, however, he allegedly lunged at them, stabbing one officer in the back of the leg. The suspect, identified as a 34-year-old Antonio Francois Spina II, was reportedly not searched before he was handcuffed.

While a brass knuckle knife was visible on the ground at the scene, investigators have not confirmed what type of weapon was used against the officers.

Spina was originally identified as a 60-year-old man, but investigators believe he attempted to change his appearance to avoid detection because of an outstanding warrant in Virginia.

The suspect has been booked into jail on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault on a police officer, prohibited possessor and unlawful use of means of transportation.

>>VIDEO from the scene: facebook.com/FOX10Phoenix/videos/1268458426536035

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