Fredericksburg officer punched in head during arrest; 3rd assault on officer in 12 weeks

Joshua Duggins, 31
Joshua Duggins, 31(Fredericksburg Police Department)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 3:30 PM EDT
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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - A police officer was assaulted during an arrest on Wednesday, marking the third assault of a Fredericksburg officer within 12 weeks.

According to a release from Fredericksburg police, an officer was responding to a suspicious person going through a vehicle. The officer found the man had stolen items on him and attempted to detain him.

“The suspect began walking away from the officer, then suddenly turned around and physically assaulted the officer knocking him to the ground and punching him several times in the head,” the release stated.

Police say two people nearby saw the incident and pulled the suspect off of him.

“If the two individuals watching nearby had not selflessly taken it upon themselves to assist the officer during the attack, the injuries he sustained could have been much more severe,” said Police Chief Layton. “The courage seen by the officer and individuals show we are stronger when we work together.”

The officer, a two-year veteran of the Fredericksburg Police Department, was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for head injuries. He was released yesterday morning from the hospital.

The man, 31-year-old Joshua Duggins, was arrested for assault on an officer and malicious wounding. The Fredericksburg resident is in Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond.

This is the third assault on a Fredericksburg police officer in the last 12 weeks. The first assault was on April 24 when an officer attempted to take a person to the hospital, and the person charged the officer and punched him in the face. The second assault was on June 11 when an officer suffered a broken nose after serving a notice for trespassing.

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