A Philadelphia Police officer was rushed to the hospital after being assaulted by a shoplifter at a South Philadelphia pharmacy.
Lt. Douglas Stanford was responding to a robbery call at the Rite Aid at 15th Street and Moyamensing Avenue around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday when the assault happened.
Surveillance cameras captured the alleged suspect meandering around the store for almost 30-minutes – stealing goods from the shelf, police say.
The 1st District officer was escorting the man from the store when the unidentified suspect picked up Lt. Stanford and slammed him on the ground, police confirm.
"The guy came out and he flipped him right up," said one witness.
The 29-year vet was rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with serious internal injuries.
Lt. Stanford suffered several broken ribs and a bruised lung, officials say. He was last listed in stable condition and is expected to be fine.
"We believe the injuries were sustained by just being picked up and body slammed, thrown down on the sidewalk," Chief Insp. Scott Small said. A weapon was not involved in the confrontation.
The suspect fled the scene on a bicycle after the robbery and assault. Tarrah Curcio says she chased the suspect for about five blocks while calling 911.
"He brushed my hip with his bike and then my instinct was just to throw my slippers in the air and I ran," she said.
Unfortunately, the suspect was able to get away down 15th Street. Police canvassed the neighborhood by the ground and air, but were unable to find the man.
He's described as a 6-foot tall, 240-pound man in his early 30s wearing a black knit cap, button down shirt and denim pants.
A member of the community told NBC Philadelphia crime has been on the rise in the area and that Lt. Stanford was scheduled to speak at a community meeting Tuesday evening about reducing crime.
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