Police looking for more information after off-duty officer assaulted by teens, cops say

Police are turning to the community for more information after an off-duty officer was injured trying to break up an incident in a park.

An off-duty Sarasota police officer was jogging through Payne Park when he saw a group of teenagers harassing, hitting and pushing a homeless person.

Identifying himself as an officer, he told the teenagers to stop. But the group of at least five teens, according to police, turned from the person and started striking the officer.

The officer was hit several times and suffered minor injuries, according to police. The teenagers left the area.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Detective Dan Riley at 941-954-7062 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at

Sara Nealeigh covers what’s happening in the cities of Bradenton and Palmetto, Florida for the Bradenton Herald. She previously covered breaking news for the Herald after moving to Florida from Ohio in 2016.