Rochester, NY – A New York judge has reduced bail from $75,000 to $25,000 for a suspect accused of stabbing a Rochester police officer in the face with a five-inch knife.
The incident began shortly after 11 a.m. on Jan. 26 when 20-year-old Jamal Dima began causing a disturbance at his parents’ home, Spectrum News reported.
According to Dima’s father, who called 911, Dima appeared be under the influence of K2 at the time.
Dima busted out the taillights and windows on two vehicles as officers responded to his family’s Glendale Park home, the Daily Messenger reported.
When Rochester Police Officers Brian Cala and Louis Mastrangelo arrived at the residence, Dima had already gone back inside, Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary said during a press conference in the wake of the attack.
Officer Cala knocked on the front door and Dima barged out of the house armed with a five-inch blade and immediately stabbed the officer in the face, the Daily Messenger reported.
“A male opened the door and made a beeline to Officer Cala,” Chief Singletary said. “It should be noted that this incident transpired in a matter of two to three seconds.”
Despite the swiftness of the attack, Officer Cala was able to draw his duty weapon. He discharged five rounds at the suspect, who was hit once in the area of his left wrist and hand.
Dima took off on foot but was soon apprehended by additional officers on Dewey Avenue, the Daily Messenger reported.
Officer Cala, a 22-year veteran-of-the-force, was rushed to University of Rochester Medical Center with a stab wound to his left cheek.
He has since been released.
“Officer Cala is doing great, all things considered,” Rochester Police Captain Ray Dearcop told Spectrum News. “It was a vicious assault… but he’s in great spirits, he has a lot of support from the men and women of the police department, as well as the outside agencies.”
“He especially wanted me to thank the community as well for all the support and positive comments that he’s received,” Capt. Dearcop added.
Chief Singletary said that the attack was captured by the officers’ bodycams, the Daily Messenger reported.
“Brian Cala… and Louis Mastrangelo did exactly the way they were trained,” he told reporters. “They performed exactly to how we trained them.”
Chief Singletary described the injured veteran officer as a “true street cop,” WHAM reported.
“He goes out every day, works extremely hard, well-known in the community of Lake Section,” the chief noted. “Twenty-year guy and just a really tremendous asset for not only RPD, but Lake Section as a mentor to the young officers coming up as well.”
Officer Cala was on medical leave after being released from the hospital.
“Knowing Brian, he would come back to work tomorrow if we let him,” Chief Singletary said, according to WHAM. “He’s gonna take some time to heal up and get ready to go again.”
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren issued a statement shortly after the attack, WHEC reported.
“Our police officers put themselves at risk every time they put on their uniform,” Warren said. “Sadly, today, one of Rochester’s finest was injured while protecting our city.”
“While I am heartened to hear that the injured officer will be released from the hospital and heading home soon, I ask all of our residents to pray for him and his family,” the mayor added. “I am thankful that no one was more seriously injured in this incident and wish our officer a quick and full recovery.”
Dima’s father said he feels badly for Officer Cala, and that he has repeatedly tried to convince his son to seek help for his mental health issues, Spectrum News reported.
Dima has pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal mischief and aggravated assault on an officer, Spectrum News reported.
On March 5, a judge dropped his bail from $75,000 to just $25,000, according to WROC.
Dima’s next court hearing is scheduled for May, and his trial is slated to begin in August.