Alleged shoplifter attacked police officer with screwdriver, knife: Officials

PHOTO: A police officer working off-duty at Lunds & Byerlys was attacked by a woman with a screwdriver when he tried to arrest her for shoplifting, Oct. 7, 2019.PlayGoogle Maps Street View 2018
WATCH Cop attacked by shoplifter with screwdriver, knife: officials

A woman who was accused of stealing from a supermarket attacked a Minnesota police officer who tried to help her return the items, officials said.

Articia Moore, 23, tried to stab Officer Joe Ryan with the St. Paul Police Department in the chest with a screwdriver and slashed him in the arm with a knife on Monday, according to a criminal complaint.

Ryan's vest prevented the screwdriver from penetrating him; however, he was cut with the knife, a police spokesman told ABC News.

"But he is doing fine and has been back on the job," the spokesman said.

Ryan had allegedly confronted Moore after employees at a Lunds supermarket in downtown St. Paul told him that she put items in her pants and jackets without paying for them.

He told Moore that he was not going to issue her a citation and she just needed to return the items, which he could see hidden under her clothes, according to the complaint.

Moore initially denied taking anything but then returned a drink, the complaint read.

PHOTO: A police officer working off-duty at Lunds & Byerlys was attacked by a woman with a screwdriver when he tried to arrest her for shoplifting, Oct. 7, 2019. Google Maps Street View 2018
A police officer working off-duty at Lunds & Byerlys was attacked by a woman with a screwdriver when he tried to arrest her for shoplifting, Oct. 7, 2019.

She refused to return the other items, saying she was homeless, and began to back away from Ryan just as he said he spotted what looked to be a black knife in her pocket.

When Ryan grabbed Moore's arm, she pulled a screwdriver out and tried to plunge it into his chest before taking a knife to his arm and cutting him, according to the complaint.

Additional officers were called to the scene, where they took Moore into custody and found a kitchen knife and screwdriver.

A witness allegedly told police that he saw Moore trying to stab Ryan with a kitchen knife.

Moore was charged with second degree assault with a dangerous weapon, assault on a peace officer and obstructing legal process, according to the Ramsey County Sheriff Department.

Calls to her lawyer were not immediately returned.