HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A Huntsville Police officer is recovering in the hospital after being attacked Friday morning. It happened at the city bus station around 8:30 a.m.
John Lee Bullard, 34, is charged with 1st Degree Felony Assault in the attack.
The officer's name was not immediately released, due to his request to be able to notify his extended family of the incident. Later Friday, Huntsville Police identified him as officer Ricky McCarver, a 9-year-veteran of the department.
The attack happened just outside a bus at the city terminal on Cleveland Avenue this morning. McMurray say Bullard attacked Officer McCarver, who was there to question Bullard about throwing rocks at vehicles.
He says employees with the city's transportation department and some bystanders jumped into action to help McCarver. They managed to wrestle Bullard off of McCarver and held him down awaiting help. A transit employee used McCarver's radio to call in the attack.
McMurray says a number of security cameras were in the area. One of those, which was on board the bus Bullard had been riding, was pointed directly at the incident. Investigators are reviewing that footage thoroughly as part of their investigation. McMurray says they will not be releasing that video at this time.
McMurray says Bullard is well-known in the area, and used the bus system often. Bullard is roughly 6'3" tall and weighs over 300 lbs.
McMurray says all HPD officers are trained in hand-to-hand combat. But Bullard far outweighed the officer, and was closer than the tactics really allow. However, indications were that McCarver had used is OC spray on Bullard durring the attack. McMurray said that didn't seem to subdue him.
Chief McMurray says he had just spoken with Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle who was with McCarver. He said McCarver was injured, even had a fracture to his face, but he was awake and talking fine. McCarver also had lacerations to the back of his head. He is expected to fully recover.
We do understand there were no weapons, other than the officer's spray, found at the scene.
The Huntsville Police Department invited anyone who wished to send well-wishes to Officer McCarver to mail or drop them by the HPD South Precinct, located at 7900 Bailey Cove Rd., Huntsville, AL 35802.
WHNT News 19 looked in to Bullard's background. Chief McMurray confirmed Bullard was a former mental health patient.