ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The man accused of stabbing a Rochester police officer in the face over the weekend pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday morning.
Jamal Dima, 20 of Rochester, is accused of stabbing officer Brian Cala during an altercation on Glendale Park Sunday. Court paperwork says Dima used a five inch blade to lacerate the officer’s cheek.
Cala, a 22-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department, was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment Sunday and discharged later that night.
During the altercation, Cala fired his weapon and shot Dima, who was taken to Rochester General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Tuesday in court Dima pleaded not guilty to felony attempted aggravated assault of a police officer, a Class C felony. At a press conference Monday, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said additional charges could be brought forth pending a grand jury investigation.
Dima’s bail was set at $75,000 and he is scheduled to return to court Friday for a preliminary hearing.
At Monday’s press conference, Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary said it’s unfortunate that these kinds of incidents happen, but he said the officers’ training helped in what could have been a worse situation.
“This incident transpired in a matter of two to three seconds, and I think it’s a credit to the training they receive, which is second to none, that the officer didn’t suffer more serious injuries,” Singletary said.
Chief Singletary thanked local law enforcement for their assistance when the call came in.
“When there was a call for help, this community of law enforcement came running,” he said.
This follows a separate incident in October when officer Denny Wright was also stabbed in the face while responding to a call.
“Hopefully we don’t continue to see these assaults on police officers, it’s utterly ridiculous at this point,” Singletary said.
Officer Wright suffered severe injuries from the altercation and spent the next three weeks in the hospital following the incident before being released on October 24.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we have a crew at the courthouse and will continue to update this developing story.