Police arrest suspect in stabbing of off-duty officer in Center City

Police have arrested the man accused of stabbing an off-duty police officer outside a Center City bar late Thursday night.

The officer and a friend were stabbed shortly after 11:30 p.m. outside the Venture Inn, located at 255 S. Camac St., according to Central Detectives.

Philadelphia police said the 49-year-old officer and his friend, a 40-year-old man, were walking outside when they were approached by 39-year-old William Johnson, who asked the pair for money and cigarettes.

The officer, whose name was not released, identified himself as a police officer and asked Johnson to leave the two alone, police said.

Johnson then allegedly replied: "[Expletive] you and I don't give a [expletive] what you are," and engaged in a fight with the officer, stabbing him four times. The other man then intervened, trying to stop the altercation.

The officer is in stable condition, police said this afternoon. His friend suffered stab wounds to his chin and received eight stitches.

A knife was recovered at the scene, authorities said.

Officers shortly after 4:30 p.m. Friday took Johnson into custody on the 1100 block of Pine Street, where he was allegedly sleeping in the bushes.

Police said he was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital for a complaint of pain to his ribs. Johnson, of the 400 block of Morris Street, will be processed and charged after his release, according to investigators.

Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or ebabay@philly.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.