Police Officer Breaks Neck In Martial Arts Class

MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) - A police officer broke his neck during a martial arts class while practicing holds with another officer.

Sgt. Neil Grafton, a police officer in Mansfield since 1989, was in stable condition Tuesday morning in the intensive care unit at MedCentral-Mansfield Hospital.

Service-Safety Director Ron Kreuter said Grafton and police Lt. Dale Fortney were practicing holds on each other when Grafton was hurt. Both were off duty at the time.

Police Chief Lawrence Harper called it an accident.

Kreuter said Grafton was experiencing paralysis in his legs before going into surgery.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)