- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 4, 2016

The father of a man jailed on charges of attacking a Coatesville, Pennsylvania, police officer with a rock penned a heartfelt apology to the police department, thanking the officers for “displaying professionalism beyond the norm” while putting their lives at risk to protect others.

The Coatesville Police Department posted a photo of the apology letter Tuesday on Facebook with a message that read, “It is our hope that all involved parties see this as an opportunity to move forward in a positive direction.”

On July 18, police said Eric Watson Jr., 29, smashed the patrol car windshield of Officer Jared T. Davis with a large rock and then chased after the officer. Mr. Watson reportedly began striking Officer Davis in the head with the same rock, according to police. Another officer, Detective Joseph Thompson, broke his sternum helping to subdue Mr. Watson, police said, the Daily Local News reported.

Mr. Watson was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, institutional vandalism, resisting arrest and related charges, police said. He is being held in Chester County Prison unable to post his $100,000 bail, the Daily Local News reported.

“It is with regret and admiration that I write to your department,” Eric Watson Sr., the suspect’s father, wrote in a letter addressed to Coatesville Police Chief Jack Laufer III.

“The regret is that your Officer Det. Joseph Thompson was injured in a confrontation with my son Eric Watson,” he wrote. “I would like to extend my sincere apology to the injured officer, his family and your department at this time.

“This apology I also extend to Officer Jared Davis who must have been traumatized by the experience of being attacked by Eric,” he continued. “In admiration, I want to commend the action taken by Officer Jared Davis by displaying professionalism beyond the norm in a time when madness seem to be the order of the day and the lives of the officers in blue are in danger.”

Chief Laufer said it’s rare for the department to receive a personal apology from a family member. He said the suspect’s parents also traveled to the police station to apologize in person for their son’s behavior. Officer Thompson, who is recovering from his injuries at home, told Chief Laufner that he appreciated the gesture, the chief told the Daily Local News.

“They’re a good solid family with connections to law enforcement and the military,” Chief Laufer said. “Being in law enforcement, [the father] appreciated how bad it could have been.”

The police department said it posted the letter on Facebook with the father’s permission. It’s been shared nearly 2,000 times.

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