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Officer Talks About Surviving Knife Attack

Posted at 9:35 PM, May 10, 2016

When Nolensville Officer David Hazlett  agreed to take a Thursday morning shift  for a friend, he had no idea it was a morning that would change his life forever.

Around 8:30 a.m. dispatch called him on a welfare check for a man outside a convenience store.

"Caller's advising he's staring straight ahead, not talking to anybody if they stop to speak to him," the dispatch officer said over the radio.

Hazlett and Chief Troy Huffines both answered the call in separate vehicles. Dash cam video shows a man in a truck. The concerned called told dispatch he hadn't moved from the parking lot for hours.

Police say that man was Robert Goins. And it turns out he didn't want to talk to the cops. The video shows him taking off, starting a chase through the heart of the city.

"Send another officer this way we've got a reckless driver driving like a maniac over here," Chief Huffines said over the radio after he saw the truck peel out onto the roadway without stopping for traffic.

They chased Goins for a few minutes, picking up speed to 65 miles an hour. They thought his driving was a danger to others.

Man Arrested, Attempted To Stab Officer

Then they got information that changed everything.

"He's known to be armed with a knife and he's mentally unstable and off his medication at  this time," a voice said over the radio.

Dash cam shows Goins lead the officers to his house and stop.

"Most people don't run toward us when they run, they run away from us," said Officer Hazlett, "well my window was down."

Hazlett had less than two seconds to react when Goins sprinted from his truck to the open window of the police car.

"I never even got my seatbelt off. I never got my seatbelt off," Hazlett said.

While the chief was still pulling up, Officer Hazlett said Goins slashed him at the collar bone and three times across the heart.

"I remember the words he said to me, yelled at me. That he was gonna kill me," Hazlett said.

He says his gun holster was lodged under the seat console, out of reach. Over the radio you can hear him scream "he's got a knife! He's got a knife."

Hazlett said he was about to give up.

"I told myself calm down, let off the gas, calm down."

He managed to get the car in gear and drive a safe distance away. When the chief asked if he was okay over the radio you can hear his response.

"He got me a little bit."

The knife tore through his safety vest, which is currently being kept for evidence.

"We all complain when it gets summertime like right now I'm hot," said Hazlett, gesturing to his vest, "but I will never be without it. That saved my life."

Next the dash cam shows the chief and other officers yelling to Goins, who moves closer to his truck.

"We're negotiating with Goins at this point trying to get him to calm down," Chief Huffines said, "I'm on the PA system asking him to drop his knife."

Huffines said they took down Goins with tasers and pepper spray after he dropped his knife but refused other commands. The video shows Hazlett leave his car with his rifle, joining back in to help.

"Not only was he wounded in the line of duty he also jumped back into the fight," Chief Huffines said.

Hazlett was also back on the job just a week later. And grateful, he said, that on the morning of March 10 two lives were spared.

"Everything went wrong that could go wrong, but it came out right," Hazlett said.

Chief Huffines surprised Hazlett last week with a purple star for his injuries and a distinguished service award
for getting back into the fight.
 
Officer Hazlett said if his gun wasn't lodged out of reach, protocol would have him shoot and most likely kill Goins.
 
Goins is currently in jail facing aggravated assault, simple assault, resisting arrest and driving with a suspended license charges.