Police searching for suspect accused of assaulting off-duty officer in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA - Investigators in Philadelphia are searching for a suspect accused of assaulting an off-duty officer during a traffic argument turned melee last weekend.

Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore said the incident happened early Sunday morning on the 2100 block of Oxford Avenue.

Investigators believe the 42-year-old officer left work and was driving home when he came upon a crowd of a dozen people and a BMW blocking the street.

Vanore told reporters the officer, who has not been identified, waited four minutes and three red light cycles for the car to move before he blew his horn.

<div>Police shared photos of the suspect they have only publicly identified as Duke.</div>
Police shared photos of the suspect they have only publicly identified as Duke.

The officer, according to investigators, then became involved in a verbal altercation with a man who police identified Monday as ‘Duke.’

It's believed that Duke, described by police as a heavyset Black man with a beard, hit the officer multiple times in the face during the altercation.

The officer then exited his vehicle and identified himself as law enforcement, after which police say Duke pulled out a firearm and pointed it towards the officer.

Vanore said the officer then called an on-duty officer for help as another man, who police say is 6-foot-8, became involved in the altercation.

Investigators believe the officer briefly took out his firearm and holstered it just before another fight erupted with the second suspect. During the fight, investigators say the officer's gun, a Glock 9mm, was taken from his waistband.


Investigators say the two men fought over the suspect's gun, and during the struggle the officer managed to release the extended magazine and safely fire the bullet in the chamber.

The suspect managed to get away in a BMW which hit the officer in the leg as it fled, according to police. Vanore said the suspect was later taken into custody after an officer who was not involved in the incident identified him from surveillance footage.

The suspect, who Vanore said is known to police, has not been publicly identified. He is expected to face assault and weapons charges.

The officer was taken to the hospital for treatment of several injuries, including a concussion and bruising, according to Vanore.

Three women who were sought in connection to the incident later spoke with police and have not been charged, according to police.