FLOWER MOUND (CBSDFW.COM) – A shoplifting suspect stabbed a Flower Mound police officer in the face when the officer chased him down.

Officer Chris Coots is recovering at home after the incident at an Academy sporting goods store in the 3600 block of Justin Road around 10:00 p.m. Friday, September 29.

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Officer Chris Coots – Flower Mound Police

Flower Mound Police Captain Wes Griffin said the wound went between Coots’ teeth and cut the back of his throat.

Coots was able, with the help of two citizens, to subdue and handcuff the suspect, 18-year-old Nikoli Williford.

Nikoli Williford – shoplifting and assault suspect

Police said Williford, had changed his shoes for a new pair of boots and had several other clothing items on him.

He was still in the store when Coots arrived.  When Coots went over to him and they started talking, Williford took off running for the front door and ran into the anti-theft detectors, Griffin said.

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Coots chased him and grabbed him, trying to take him to the ground.

Griffen said Williford pulled out a 3-inch stiletto knife from a sheath he had on him and stabbed Coots in the face.

After two customers helped get the suspect under control and in handcuffs, Williford kept fighting.  Another officer used a Taser was used on Willford.

Coots was hospitalized for two days.  He is expected to make a full recovery.


Williford, of Denton, was charged with aggravated assault against a public servant, a first degree felony. He was also charged with theft for about $570 worth of Academy merchandise, a Class B misdemeanor.

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Jail records show he has also been charged with sexual assault of a child and causing injury to a child/elderly/disabled person since February 2016.