Off-Duty Philadelphia Officer, Bartender Stabbed in Gayborhood

Philadelphia Police are searching for the man they believe stabbed an off-duty officer and bartender Friday night.

Authorities identified 39-year-old William Johnson of the 400 block of Morris Street as a suspect in the stabbing that took place around 11 p.m. outside The Venture Inn along the 200 block of S. Camac Street in the Gayborhood section of the city.

Officials say the 49-year-old male officer was walking with a friend when Johnson approached them and asked for money and cigerattes.

The 19-year veteran of the force identified himself as a police officer and asked the suspect to leave them alone. 

Instead Johnson charged at the off-duty cop and the two began fighting, according to investigators.

During the struggle, the suspect stabbed the off-duty officer four times, according to reports.

Police say the cop's friend, a 40-year-old bartender, intervened to stop the assault and suffered a stab wound to his face.


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Both the officer and bartender were taken to nearby Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. The officer remains in the hospital in stable condition, police say. The bartender was released after receiving eight stitches to his chin.

Detectives were also able to locate the knife used in the stabbing.

"It appears to be some sort of hunting knife," said Chief Inspector Scott Small. "And Central Detectives have that knife in their possession."

Investigators ask anyone with information on the whereabouts of Johnson to call Central Detectives at 215-686-3093.

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