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Suspect Charged With Attempted Murder Of Police Officer

     A Springfield, Massachusetts police officer is recovering after he was stabbed in the chest during a violent struggle with an arson suspect.

    Acting Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said the blade of a kitchen knife struck a metal plate in the protective vest worn by officer Greg Vatrano saving the life of the 32-year-old police officer.

     "Officer Vatrano was taken to the hospital suffering from a broken hand and cuts and bruises," Clapprood said at a press conference at police headquarters. "He is at home recovering. He is in good spirits."

    Ruben Barrero of Springfield faces a series of charges including attempted murder.

    A judge Thursday ordered him held without bail and also ordered a mental competency hearing.

   The injured officer is a cousin of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

    "Thank God the vest was on," said Sarno who spoke with Vatrano earlier on Thursday. " He did his job as did the other officers to take this individual off the streets."

           Authorities allege Barrero Wednesday night tried to burn down a house where he had been living with his mother after she had ordered him out of their apartment earlier in the day.

    The fire was contained to the porches of the building according to the Springfield Fire Department.