PATCHOGUE, NY (CBSNewYork) – A suspect is being arrested for stabbing a uniformed police officer after being stabbed Patchogue, Suffolk County Police said on Sunday.
Jonathan Nunez was accused of erratic driving and no headlights when Police Christopher Racioppo spotted his car on South Ocean Avenue around 10:40 pm Saturday.
According to police, Nunez crashed his 1999 Mercedes Benz into a Nissan at the intersection of South Ocean Avenue and Brook Street after an officer tried to pull him over, flipping his car on the side.
Nunez, 25, is said to have got out of the car, ignored Racioppo’s instructions and fought with the policeman in the yard near the scene of the accident.
Nunez stabbed Racioppo in the leg during the chaos, police said.
Over his radio, Suffolk County Officer Taylor Herbst heard the words, “He’s stabbed and he’s unconscious.”
“You don’t know what to think, you just… You just have to hang out,” Herbst told CBS2’s Cory James in an exclusive interview.
But he focused on the laser as he rushed over to help his brother with law enforcement.
“How quickly did you reach him after hearing that?” James asked.
“Within a minute,” Herbst said.
He found Racioppo, a three-year veteran, lying on the ground behind a house at the scene.
“I went back to the scene… I turned on the flashlight. I’m trying to find out, I’m asking him, trying to regain his consciousness, ”Herbst said. “There’s a lot of blood around his left leg, and now I know for sure it’s a femoral artery, maybe a thigh artery or another vein inside, so I have to gargle as quickly as possible. . “
Guillermo Sandoval heard a sound and stepped outside.
“I looked out the window upstairs and saw the car,” he said.
When he realized that an officer needed help, the former Marine got into action.
“I ran upstairs, grabbed a belt, turned back,” he said.
“I said, ‘Just give it to me, I’ll get whatever I can.’ I just put the other belt on him and just tightened it even more, ”Herbst said.
Racioppo was transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital for emergency surgery to repair a broken artery and was put in critical condition.
“The knife was stabbed in the leg about 3 inches. It has caused serious venous damage, ”said Louis Civello, second vice president of the Suffolk County Police Charity Association. “He lost almost his entire volume of blood. They had to change almost every drop of blood in his body at this point. The doctors, the surgeons there … commented that the miracle is that he is still alive.
Authorities say a retired NYPD officer also helped, keeping Nunez for the officers. He was charged with heavier assault than a police officer, against arrest and DWI.
Luis Tayupanda, who drove the second car, was taken to hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Racioppo is currently on the way to recovery.
Herbst is grateful for the EMT training in the academy and the people nearby whom he said helped save his blue-shirted brother’s life.
“You never realize how you really need it… and it just happens and your training starts and you just need to do what you have to do,” he said. “Everyone who was involved in this, it was a major surgery. It’s not just me, it’s everyone. “