Saratoga Springs City Police Officer Adam Baker is recovering at his home after having his throat slashed by a Washington County teenager Tuesday, Sept. 4.
According to police reports, Baker was trying to apprehend 19-year-old Seth M. Dawson, of Shushan, on Jefferson Street when he was cut with a razor across his neck.
The cut severed muscles and nerves in Baker's neck, he said. Police Chief Edward Moore praised the actions of an unidentified 13-year-girl who brought a towel to nearby officers John Carey and John Kehoe so that they could apply pressure to the wound.
This is probably the closest call we've had, Moore said at a press conference held outside the Saratoga Springs courtroom the day after the incident. "One-quarter-inch close. Another quarter-inch and Officer Baker would not be here with us."
The alleged attack occurred after Dawson, an outpatient at Four Winds Saratoga, fled the mental health hospital on foot, and Four Winds personnel contacted the police to pick him up, said Moore. Dawson's mother brought him to Four Winds because she had noticed a change in his behavior, Moore said.
Baker, a married 30-year-old patrol officer, who joined the force in 2006, was treated at Albany Medical Center but was released later in the week to convalesce at his home, according to Deputy Public Safety Director Frank Dudla, who is Baker's father-in-law. Dudla said three nerves in Baker's neck were cut, and he has no feeling around one ear. A doctor said Baker's ear-related problems would likely improve over time, Dudla said.
Dawson is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, a Class B felony that carries a maximum prison term of 25 years. At Dawson's arraignment Sept. 5 in City Court, Judge Douglas Mills ordered him to undergo a psychological evaluation and sent him to Saratoga County jail without bail.