An off-duty Salt Lake police officer was attacked and injured Thursday evening by a man who thought the officer had kicked his friend's dog, Salt Lake police said.

Officer Don Cahoon was walking along 700 East with a friend who had a German shepherd on a leash when the attack took place, said Lt. Mark Zelig.At the corner of 700 East and Coatsville Avenue (1816 South), an unleashed dog approached the shepherd. "The officer was concerned that the shepherd might hurt the smaller dog, and stamped his feet several times" to shoo the unleashed dog away, Zelig said.

The smaller dog's owner thought Cahoon had kicked her dog, Zelig said, and told a male friend, who hit the officer in the head. The blow lacerated Cahoon's head badly enough that he had to go to an area hospital to get stitches, Zelig said.

Cahoon identified himself as a police officer, drew his gun and placed the man under arrest for simple assault, Zelig said.