Female cop stops to help motorist, barely survives attack on her life

Melissa Ruch, West Penn Township Police
Source: WNEP

She was just doing her job: To protect and to serve.

Wednesday night another police officer was attacked — this time in Pennsylvania; this time a female officer; this time apparently with a box-cutter or knife.

Then she was thrown over a guardrail and down a steep embankment.

West Penn Township Police Officer Melissa Ruch was assaulted at about 5 p.m. after a traffic stop, according to WNEP News 16.

Station reporter Sarah Buynovsky tweeted:

The Morning Call reported:

About 4:53 p.m. Ruch stopped to check on the driver of a dark colored Nissan Maxima on Route 309 northbound a little more than half a mile south of Dove Lane in West Penn, state police said. It is a heavily wooded area and the nearest home is a single unit on Dove Lane.

At 17:08 Ruch radioed for backup on her portable radio and responding officers found her at the bottom of an embankment alongside the road, according to troopers.

“Her shirt is like sliced from–we don’t know what it’s sliced yet from,” Trooper David Boehm told the station.

“The person that we’re looking for is a Hispanic male, 6’2″ to 6’4″, 240 to 260 pounds. He was wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans, the kind that go way down below your knees and possibly in a dark colored Nissan Maxima.”

Ruch had to be flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital, but her injuries are not considered life-threatening.

West Penn Township isn’t exactly inner-city Chicago, Baltimore or Detroit. It’s a small community of less than 4,000 where things like this just don’t happen.

“It’s pretty terrifying, definitely terrifying. It’s not something you really hear from around here or want to see happening around here, so it’s pretty scary,” said Jenna Shiner of West Penn Township.

Watch the news report, via WNEP.


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