A 25-year-old suspect was arrested for allegedly stabbing a police officer after a car crash Saturday on Long Island.
Police said Jonathan Nunez of Centereach was driving erratically and did not have his headlights switched on as he drove down South Ocean Avenue in Patchogue when an officer turned on his overhead lights to try and pull over the car, according to ABC 7.
“Nunez’s car then crashed into another vehicle at the intersection of South Ocean Avenue and Brook Street,” the report continued.
The suspect exited his car, ignored Officer Christopher Racioppo’s instructions, and reportedly began a physical altercation with him in a homeowner’s yard where he allegedly stabbed Racioppo in the leg.
On the radio, Suffolk County Police Officer Taylor Herbst heard, “He’s been stabbed and he was losing consciousness,” CBS New York reported.
“You don’t know what to think, you just… You just zone out,” Herbst said, adding he rushed over to help the injured officer who was lying on the ground:
I pull up on scene … I have my flashlight on. I’m trying to find out, I’m asking him, trying to get his consciousness. There was a lot of pooling blood around his left leg, and I knew at this point it was definitely, probably his femoral artery or another vein that was inside, so I had to get a tourniquet on as fast as possible.
Guillermo Sandoval, a Marine veteran, said when he saw what happened, he quickly grabbed a belt and ran outside his house.
“I said, ‘Just give it to me, I’ll take whatever I can.’ I just put the other belt on top of him and just tightened it up even more,” Herbst recalled.
Officer Racioppo was later transported to Stony Brook University Hospital to undergo emergency surgery for a ruptured artery and listed in critical condition.
The SCPD family is asking for you to keep one of its own in your thoughts as he fights for his life following a stabbing in Patchogue.
The @SCPD5thPrecinct officer underwent emergency surgery and is currently listed in critical condition at Stony Brook University Hospital. pic.twitter.com/bXk08og4SF
— Suffolk County PD (@SCPDHq) April 11, 2021
“He lost almost a full body volume of his blood. They had to replace almost every drop of blood in his body at this point. The doctors, the surgeons up there … had remarked what a miracle it was that he’s even still alive,” said Louis Civello, second vice president of the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association.
According to authorities, a retired New York Police Department (NYPD) officer at the scene helped by holding Nunez down for the officers.
“Nunez was charged with aggravated assault upon a police officer, driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest. He was admitted to Long Island Community Hospital in East Patchogue and will be arraigned at a later date,” the ABC report stated.
The second driver involved in the initial crash was taken to the hospital and received treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.