NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk police sergeant who was assaulted with a caustic substance Monday morning has been released from the hospital.
According to investigators, the sergeant was exiting the Dunkin’ Donuts at 841 North Military Highway when a man walked up and threw some sort of liquid into his face. Police say the sergeant was not on a call at the time. A preliminary investigation found that the incident was unprovoked. They do not know yet what was thrown at the officer, only that it was a caustic substance, something that caused immediate burning to the sergeant’s eyes, face and neck.
Despite his injuries, the sergeant chased the suspect while calling for backup.
The officer was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with significant burn injuries to his eyes, face, neck and hands, but his injuries are considered non life-threatening. He was released from the hospital Monday evening.The sergeant and assisting officers caught up with the suspect in the 5700 block of E. Virginia Beach Boulevard a short while later and took him into custody. Police have charged 51-year-old Dale Patrick Bright of Virginia Beach with malicious wounding by means of a caustic substance.
Police have not a released a motive behind the attack.
A spokesperson for Dunkin’ Donuts released a statement about the assault, which reads in full:
At Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants, the safety and well-being of customers is a top priority. We have the highest regard for our police officers and were deeply saddened to learn of the incident outside of a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in Norfolk, Virginia. We will continue to work closely with local authorities to lend our support however needed. As this is a pending police matter, any additional questions can be directed to the police department.”
Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone declined interviews on Monday in order to focus on the “officers’ welfare.”
Bright reportedly agreed to a jailhouse interview, but officials determined it would pose a safety and security risk at this time.
The suspect has a lengthy criminal history.
The attack occurred on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.