Three police officers were hospitalized but expected to survive after being stabbed in Saugus, Massachusetts, Thursday morning.
The incident occurred when officers showed up at the home of Steven Sossong, 43, around 7:20 a.m. to investigate a report of a stolen U-Haul rental car that had not been returned, according to authorities.
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When Sossong refused to let the officers inside his home at 29 Tuttle St., they forced their way in and a fight broke out, Assistant Saugus Police Chief Ronald Giorgetti said in a press briefing. Sossong then allegedly stabbed and slashed the officers with an edged weapon, police said, which they believe was knife.
"Something like this happens, it kind of strikes home," Giorgetti said. The officers in the mid-sized department are "very close," he added, and "just beginning to comprehend what occurred."
"It's extremely difficult," Giorgetti said. "Thankfully, latest report, the injuries are not life threatening."
All three Saugus officers were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with non-life threatening lacerations on their extremities, Giorgetti said. A fourth Saugus officer was transported to MGH for precautionary reasons.
Ron Wing, the father of one of the officers who was stabbed, was at his house around the corner at the time.
"When we got up, we heard all the sirens," he said.
He didn't know at the time that his son, a veteran officer with the Saugus Police Department, had been attacked.
"It is hard," Wing said Thursday. "It is not easy."
Sossong was taken to Melrose-Wakefield Hospital with minor injuries and is in custody, according to police. Officers used a "great level of restraint," in applying use of force tactics, Giorgetti noted.
Sossong was seen leaving the hospital Thursday afternoon and was expected to be arraigned at Lynn District Court later on pending charges including four counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and four counts of assault and battery on a police officer. Additional charges are pending, according to Giorgetti. The rental car was towed from the scene.
PHOTOS: Police Officers Injured in Saugus
A large police presence was seen in the densely populated, residential neighborhood. Multiple ambulances were observed at the scene, as well as officers from Melrose, Wakefield and Saugus, in addition to Massachusetts State Police.
An ambulance from Melrose was seen with police cruisers heading to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Police said there was no immediate threat to the public.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and is being led by state police detectives assigned to the Essex District Attorney's Office.