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Battle Creek Police officers undergo testing after coming in contact with suspect's blood
BATTLE CREEK (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – New surveillance video shows what led up to a bloody encounter between a suspected thief and Battle Creek Police.
Police say the man cut himself while trying to break out of Cliff Street Grocery last Tuesday. The owner held him until officers arrived.
The two officers had to be tested, after getting 25-year-old Davone Benjamin’s blood on them during the arrest.
The surveillance video first shows an ordinary scene that quickly turns physical. The clerk and surveillance cameras catch a suspect in the act.
“He grabbed a bottle of 409 spray cleaner and attempted to put it down his pants it was seen by the store owner,” said Det. Sgt. Jim Martens, Battle Creek Police.
The owner jumps over the counter to stop Benjamin.
“The store owner had magnetized the door shut so it was locked,” said Martens.
Unaware of this, the surveillance video shows Benjamin attempting to leave, but not without more punches by the owner to stop him.
“The suspect took a fire extinguisher and tried to break out the door that he put a hole in it and tried to crawl out through the hole,” said Martens.
Detective Sergeant Martens says the first officer on scene had little choice other than come in contact with the suspect’s bloody hands.
“This was a new officer and I think he reacted very well unfortunately he was in a situation where he was cut and bleeding and he cut himself,” said Martens.
A second officer also came in contact with Benjamin’s blood. Martens says this is not an uncommon encounter.
“We’ve come in contact with people who have been cut victims or have been involved in a violent situation where there's blood exposure and we'll find out later on yes there's some sort of disease,” said Martens.
The police report shows the suspect told police he was stealing the cleaning solution to sell and then buy crack.
The report also shows, he wasn’t sure if he had Hepatitis C.
Both officers were tested at an area hospital and are back on the job.
Benjamin was charged in Calhoun County Court last week with retail fraud and two counts of resisting and obstructing.