Reward up to $15,000 for details in attack of police officer

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The City of Knoxville has added $5,500 to the reward fund for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who attacked Knoxville Police Department Officer B.K. Hardin as he was directing traffic following the Nov. 17 University of Tennessee football game. The reward now totals $15,000.

“Officer Hardin was struck in the head from behind with a blunt object, and his injury required immediate emergency surgery,” Mayor Madeline Rogero said. “It was a horrendous, unprovoked attack. We hope the reward encourages witnesses to come forward. Thankfully, Officer Hardin is recovering and is expected to be able to return to duty by early next year.”

Officer Hardin was directing post-game traffic at the intersection of 17th Street and Clinch Avenue when a male suspect ran up from behind and struck him with a hammer or tire iron. The suspect fled west on Clinch Avenue from 17th Street. Witnesses described the suspect as a man believed to be in his mid-20s, clean shaven, approximately 6 feet tall and weighing about 160 pounds. The suspect is believed to have been wearing a charcoal gray or faded black hoodie and light gray pants.

Investigators are still seeking witnesses to the attack or anyone who may have seen a person in the area carrying a hammer, tire iron or similar object. If you have information, please call the Knoxville Police Department’s crime information line at 865-215-7212. Callers can remain anonymous. Tips can also be submitted through the Police Department’s Facebook page – @KnoxvillePD.

In addition to the City’s $5,500 contribution, the FBI has donated $5,000; the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, $2,500; and the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 2, $2,000.