At an Indiana State University speaking event featuring Elizabeth Smart, a police officer noticed an 80-year-old man playing with a knife, staring at Elizabeth Smart, according to CBS News.
The man, Claude Hudson, put the knife in his pocket before approaching Smart, skipping to the head of the line of people waiting to speak with her.
The officer intercepted Hudson and tried to question him, however, Hudson quickly became belligerent and began punching the officer multiple times in the stomach, witnesses say.
Hudson, who has been arrested in five other states and even convicted of attempted murder in 1991, pleaded not guilty to the battery on Wednesday morning.
According to CBS, Smart’s spokesman issued a statement Thursday saying she “is grateful for law enforcement and Indiana State University’s quick response and that the event and her work continued undeterred.”