Man lunges at police officer with spear, piercing Kevlar vest and skin

A man faces attempted murder and other charges after lunging at a Northbridge police officer with a spear early this morning, penetrating the officer’s Kevlar vest and piercing his skin, the Northbridge police chief said.

The officer was treated and released from the hospital, but Chief Walter Warchol said it was a close call.

Just after 3 a.m., officers in the nearby town of Milford observed a car driven by 29-year-old Adam Tillison, a Northbridge resident with outstanding warrants. When Milford officers tried to pursue Tillison, he “left the area at a high rate of speed” toward Northbridge, Warchol said.

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Milford police notified Northbridge police, who knew Tillison from previous run-ins, and went to his home at 11 High St. to confront him, Warchol said. As officers tried to arrest him, Tillison broke away and ran into his home, going to the top of his stairs where he grabbed “a double-bladed spear,” Warchol said.

Tillison lunged at an officer with the weapon, striking the officer’s right abdomen just below the ribcage, slicing through his Kevlar vest and piercing his skin. Officers then subdued Tillison and placed him under arrest.

The injured officer was treated and released from UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

Warchol called the injured officer lucky, saying, “If he wasn’t wearing a ballistic vest it would have been a tragic event.”

Tillison is to be arraigned today. He also faces charges of resisting arrest and possession of a dangerous weapon, Warchol said.

The spear was “one of those weapons that you’d see on TV or movies,” Warchol said.

“It’s an odd-shaped weapon. It’s not sold around here,” he said. “I don’t know where he purchased the item.”