Effingham County Sheriff's Deputy recovering after being stabbed

Effingham County Sheriff's Deputy recovering after being stabbed
Published: Mar. 18, 2016 at 6:33 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 17, 2016 at 6:33 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating after an Effingham County Sheriff's Deputy was stabbed while serving a court order, Friday afternoon.

It happened around 1:30 p.m. at a home off Highway 21, north of Springfield. Sergeant Danny Harrington was one of the four deputies serving a court order. They were there to pick up 23-year-old Franklin Johnson under a 10-13 court order, which requires the transport of a mental patient to the hospital.

"Apparently, when the officers got here he came out with a knife, starting cutting the officers and a struggle ensued," ECSO Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said.

Johnson stabbed Sergeant Harrington in the neck and injured part of his head and ear. During the altercation, one of the deputy's guns went off, but no one was shot.

Sgt. Harrington remains in the hospital, but is in stable condition.

"Unfortunately we get complacent with these. You deal with probably 10 or 15 a month sometime, and everything goes okay. Just for whatever reason, this young man... this time, it didn't turn out as well as we had hoped," said Sheriff McDuffie.

Protocol requires at least two officers to be present to serve orders like this, and in this case, Sergeant Harrington was wearing a protective vest. But the sheriff told WTOC serving this kind of court order is fairly routine, and it's rare for it to turn violent like it did Friday.

"We've probably done, this year - this is March - we've probably done 15 or 18 of these things and hadn't had a minute's problem...and for some reason today something triggered this young man, and he came out swinging a knife," said Sheriff McDuffie.

This isn't the first close call for Sgt. Harrington. In June of 2014, a man fired shots at him and another deputy when they responded to a domestic dispute near Eden.

The sheriff has spent the majority of the evening at the hospital with Sgt. Harrington, grateful that Friday's incident didn't end worse.

Johnson was transported to the Effingham Health Systems Hospital in Springfield. He is pending arrest for aggravated assault after he is released form the medical facility.

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