Officer stabs homeless man in downtown Provence restroom

Friday, July 22, 2011 at 1:03pm
Marty Crowder

A homeless man is in critical but stable condition with a stab wound resulting from his allegedly attacking a Metro police officer Friday morning in a downtown café restroom.

Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said officer Marty Crowder, a 23-year-veteran of the force, was using the urinal in the restroom at Provence next to the Main Library at approximately 10 a.m. Friday when James Collier entered the facility, locked the door and approached the officer.

Crowder told Collier, 43, to back off. When Collier refused the officer’s order and allegedly attempted to grab the officer’s gun, a scuffle ensued. Crowder pulled a knife from his vest area and stabbed Collier in the upper left leg, Aaron said.

“An officer at all costs will work to protect his firearm,” Aaron said, adding that officers are given the option to carry a knife on them and most do.

Both Crowder and Collier are at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The officer suffered minor cuts and abrasions, as well as being somewhat covered with the suspect's blood, during the incident. 

Aaron said police have not determined a motive for the attack, and Collier has so far refused to talk with detectives investigating the incident.

Members of the force who work downtown have seen Collier in the Church Street Park area the past few months but had not considered him a problem. Crowder was on assignment to patrol the park when the incident occurred.

Police believe Collier is homeless. Aaron said Collier does not appear to have an arrest record in Nashville.


8 Comments on this post:

By: robbchadwick on 7/22/11 at 12:03

This is a perfect indication of why these people need to be kept off the streets of downtown. Their situation is unfortunate; and I certainly have a certain degree of pity for those who are mentally ill. However, it is impossible to know what state of mind any of them are in as you approach them. They are dangerous and do not need to be a part of this upscale living area and the area where all visitors to tend to congregate. I hope this causes the police department to take steps to eliminate this nuisance.

AND while I am on a rant, selling a printed newspaper that no one wants to read is just an excuse to ask people for a dollar. That also is a farce.

By: Chris72 on 7/22/11 at 12:22

robbchadwick...."do not need to be part of this upscale living area"

Nice! And what exactly is your suggestion to do with these folks? Maybe, round 'em up and set up a special area that they have to stay in? Like a....."detainment camp"? Maybe Metro can pull a few pages from the feds back during WWII or contact FEMA for advise on that. I wonder if maybe you think it'd be best to send them out to da 'hood to live then as well, that's not "upscale" to you, perfect for them huh alongside all the 'bangers.

Hmmmm, or maybe, round 'em up and do like a mass euthanasia, bet you'd call that population control?

Typical "not in my backyard" mentality type of person, but yet not willing to do a dang thing to come up with a valid solution or assist in any way. And I'd love to know your "certain degree of pity" for the mentally ill....LOL. That is just such an egotistical comment. My guess is, the true feeling is dang, better him then me!!! Now go stare at yourself in your mirror, narcissistic personality is a mental issue as well by the way....

By: robbchadwick on 7/22/11 at 12:31

Chris72 --

The only thing these people want is their next quart of beer (shoplifted from merchants in the area) or their next hit of their drug of choice. You could offer them all kinds of rehab or any other thing that would actually help them; and they will turn you down flat.

I am not talking about the legitimately homeless. I am talking about the street bums of downtown. They are two totally different types of people.

You can call me whatever you like. I really don't care.

By: fair_minded on 7/22/11 at 1:16

robbchadwick said:"AND while I am on a rant, selling a printed newspaper that no one wants to read is just an excuse to ask people for a dollar. That also is a farce."

and this is different from the Tennessean in what way??

By: bfra on 7/22/11 at 1:55

fair_minded - I haven't seen anyone hawking the Tennessean on any street, disrupting traffic or knocking on the windows of cars stopped in traffic. Where have you seen this happening? Not taking up for the Tennessean, by any means. Their reporting stinks, especially Kerr, but do be real.

By: richgoose on 7/22/11 at 3:45

I am not a person who holds immediate respect for police officers but in this case I commend the officer.

By: arkay61 on 7/22/11 at 5:52

bra, the Crapassean may not participate in your aforementioned activities, but for some reason they are allowed to dump their POS rag in my driveway whenever they please. I constantly have to pick it up and dispose of properly in my garbage can. A pain in the a.. is a pain in the a.. be it homeless paper hawkers impeding the traffic flow or the Crapassean dumping their "free" neighborhood garbage on my privately owned property.

Now that I think about it, I may start collecting those Crapassean papers that get thrown into my drive and dump them back into their parking lot when I get a car load.

By: tomw on 7/27/11 at 6:05

I know this is off topic, but I have to comment on the Contributer thread.
I would rather have homeless vendors trying to make a living on my street corners rather than various "religious and school" groups wandering in and out of heavy traffic with their orange buckets asking me to fund a mission or a school trip any day. These people are putting themselves, their children and the motorists in danger all the time. I don't see how metro traffic and city officials allows this. Maybe I need an orange bucket.