On the evening of Wednesday, 17th February, 1858 a Constable arrested John Rutledge at the Star of the West Hotel, Belfast, for being drunk and disorderly. He resisted, and struck the policeman, who called on Sergeant Dodds for assistance. The two officers then subdued him and started to lead him back to the Watch House. As they walked along Sackville Street the prisoner took a bowie knife from his pocket and stabbed Dodds in the abdomen. Rutledge was charged with wounding the Sergeant, and was tried at the Belfast General Sessions on the 12th May, 1858. He was found not guilty on the grounds of insanity, and was committed to the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum. Sergeant Dodds never recovered from the injury, and his condition steadily declined. He died on the 18th August, 1859 almost 12 months after his assailant had been pronounced 'no longer insane' and released from custody.