UPDATE: Search for suspect who attacked Knoxville officer continues, reward offered
UPDATE: The City of Knoxville has added $5,500 to the reward fund for information on the person who attacked Officer B.K. Hardin with a hammer or tire iron as he was directing traffic.
The city joins The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 2, FBI Knoxville and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation by contributing to a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the attacker.
The total reward now stands at $15,500.
The officer who was brutally attacked on Saturday while directing UT game day traffic has been released from the hospital as investigators hope a reward will help them find the person responsible.
The FBI has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible. The TBI has offered $2,500. Then the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 2, has contributed $2,000.
An unknown suspect ran up behind Officer B.K. Hardin and hit him in the back of a head with a hammer or similar object, then took off on foot. The attack happened at the intersection of 17th Street and Clinch Avenue.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Knoxville Police Department is looking for witnesses who saw an attack on an officer with a hammer or blunt object Saturday night.
According to KPD, the officer was directing traffic near the intersection of 17th Street and Clinch Avenue when a male suspect ran up from behind the officer and struck him in the back of the head with a hammer or some kind of blunt object between 7:15 and 7:40 p.m.
One driver stuck in traffic gave as much information as she could on the suspect, police said. Officials interviewed and released a person of interest.
An off-duty out-of-county firefighter who had a medical bag in his car also began to render medical assistance to the officer.
The officer had to undergo immediate surgery at UT Medical Center after suffering a serious head injury, KPD said. Surgery went well, and the officer is recovering.
The officer is 51 years old and has been with KPD for seven years.