RPD Chief describes "vicious and brutal attack" on officer

Oct 5, 2019

Rochester Police Chief La'Ron Singletary says that after watching body-worn camera video in connection with a knife attack on one of his officers, it was a stark reminder of the dangers that officers face every day.

On Saturday, Singletary and Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley provided an update on the incident that happened early Friday afternoon which left Officer Denny Wright in serious but stable condition at Rochester General Hospital. RPD officials say that Wright underwent surgery and is resting; they say he is working toward what they hope will be a full recovery.

Singletary says Wright, a 23-year veteran of the department, is in the ICU after suffering numerous stab wounds throughout his body, with the most serious injuries to the head and face.

Providing a timeline of events, the chief says that it started out as a call about family trouble at 37 Peck St., near North Goodman St. Singletary says when Wright arrived he was trying to deal with a 28 year old man who was at first, underneath a bed, and then tried to run out of the house.

Singletary says family members tried to stop the man, and that’s when the man punched the officer in the face, and then repeatedly stabbed Wright. The chief says Wright called for help on his radio and also fired one shot in the direction of the suspect, but it did not hit him.

Singletary says two nearby good Samaritans heard the commotion from outside the house and went in and helped the officer hold down the man until more help could arrive.

That man was taken to Strong Memorial after being tased. Singletary says he is being evaluated but would not detail what he is being evaluated for. He and Doorley also say that no charges have been filed so far while the investigation continues, but they also say police are not looking for anyone else.

After seeing the officer’s body-worn camera video, Singletary says the "brutal and vicious attack" was hard to watch, and he and Doorley both indicate that circumstances might have been different had it not been for the efforts of Officer Wright, the nearby good Samaritans, and fellow officers who rushed Wright to the hospital.

The police chief also said that police have been called to that home before, including for a standoff situation on June 1.

Singletary says that Wright has spent his entire career serving the Clinton section and he also read a statement from the family which says it was humbled by the outpouring of concern and compassion from Wright’s fellow officers.

Here is the full statement from Officer Denny Wright's family:

We would like to thank everyone for their support in this difficult situation.  We are humbled by the outpouring of genuine concern and compassion from his brothers and sisters in blue, the medical staff at Rochester General, and his family and friends.

The overwhelming support is a true testament of Denny’s character…a caring, giving officer who always did and always will place the safety of others before his own.  On behalf of our loving Denny, thank you and please keep him in your prayers.

Thank you.