ST. LUCIE, FL – Routine police calls are never routine. Just ask St Lucie County deputy sheriff Cody Colangelo.
The incident began at approximately 11 p.m. on March 23, when 21-year-old Leigha Michelle Day crashed into a tree and rolled her vehicle in the 12000-block of South Indian River Drive, according to WFLA news.
The 22-year-old deputy arrived on scene of the reported car crash, and he found the vehicle empty.
Witnesses told the deputy a young woman exited the vehicle and ran down a nearby embankment. Within minutes she was safely located by Colangelo. The woman had a brief conversation with the deputy before she was asked to return to the road.
“He did a phenomenal job. He was helpful and compassionate with her. Chief Deputy Brian Hester said at a Thursday news conference.
“Hey, we’re gonna help you. Come on, let’s get you back up here. You don’t have to be afraid.” Colangelo told her.
The situation quickly turned ugly. According to the St Lucie Sheriff’s office , after climbing approximately two to three stairs going back up towards the road, she abruptly and without provocation turned around and stabbed him in the neck, cutting his carotid artery.
As she ran off, the injured deputy fired a shot at her but missed.
His wound was bleeding profusely, yet he was able to give chase, keeping pressure applied to his wound. He lost sight of her and immediately called in for assistance. The interaction, according to WPTV news, was captured on the deputy’s bodycam.
Additional help arrived and deputies searched the area where they found Day hiding below the embankment, WFLX reported. Chief Deputy Hester said she was booked into the St. Lucie County Jail on a first-degree attempted murder charge.
Investigators still have no idea why she attacked Deputy Colangelo.
Meanwhile, Colangelo was rushed to a hospital and underwent two-hours of emergency surgery.
“His injuries were pretty gruesome,” Hester said.
Hester confirmed that Colangelo’s bodycam captured the entire traumatic event.
“To watch one of our deputies who just sustained a life-threatening injury, calmed himself down enough, saved his own life. He saved his own life through his training,” Hester said. “Stood guard for nearby residents and then directed other deputies where to go. All the while calmly controlling his breathing.”
During the medical procedure, surgeons replaced part of the artery in his neck with one from his leg. Fortunately, he’s been stabilized and is expected to make a full recovery.
The 22-year-old deputy reportedly comes from a long line of law enforcement family members, including his father and older brother who both served as law enforcement officers. He has been a deputy sheriff for less than two years.
“By the grace of God and through this deputy’s training, he is alive,” St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said Thursday.
Sheriff Colangelo was one of the lucky ones. As attacks on police increase, so do the number of police killed in the line of duty.
According to statistics reported to the FBI, 59 police officers were killed in the line of duty from January 1, 2021, to September 30, 2021. This marks a 51 percent increase in the number of police officers killed when compared to the same period last year.
In the previous year nationally, 60,105 law enforcement officers were assaulted while performing their duties in 2020. These assaults were reported to the FBI by 9,895 law enforcement agencies.
Based on the reports submitted to the FBI, there were 4,071 more officers assaulted in 2020 than the 56,034 assaults reported in 2019. Of the 60,105 assaults in 2020… 1,180 were stabbed with knives or other cutting instruments
In an interview, FBI Director Christopher Wray reflected on the sacrifices of the Bureau’s law enforcement partners, who risk their safety to protect the public.
“We are looking at now 59 officers or agents murdered in the line of duty this year (2021). That’s an over 50 percent increase from last year. That basically translates to every five days—more often than every five days in this country—an officer is murdered in the line of duty. And that’s totally unacceptable, and it’s a tragedy and it needs attention,” Wray said.
Knife attacks on officers are particularly difficult to stop, even at a distance. This has been proven based on a firearms training exercise conducted over 36 years ago by well-known trainer Dennis Tueller.
Tueller found that “the average healthy adult male,” running with a knife or other contact weapon in hand, can cover a distance of seven yards in about 1.5 seconds – the time it takes the “average” officer to draw a sidearm and place two hits center-mass on a man-size target 21 feet away.
Thus, the exercise suggested, within a 21-foot radius an officer might not have time to draw and successfully defend himself against a charging subject with lethal intent and deadly means before the attacker is on him.
In this current situation, the suspect was literally a couple of feet away when she attacked the deputy.
Given the officers reasonable approach, he was dealing with what he thought was a victim of an accident and had no reasonable suspicion to believe she was a danger. He treated her with compassion and empathy, as was warranted for the situation.
Cops have many types of citizen interactions on any given shift. Everything from high-risk domestic violence calls to traffic accidents and giving directions which are typically low risk.
However, it is evident that police cannot predict how a situation is going to unfold or how a person might react or who they are even dealing with. Deputy Colangelo is a living testament. He can thank his lucky stars and good training.
Boston officer stabbed in neck after responding to domestic violence call, suspect fatally shot
BOSTON, MA- According to authorities, on Saturday night, November 6th, a Boston police officer was stabbed in the neck and head by a man who was then fatally shot by another police officer.
Boston police officer stabbed in neck; suspect shot, killed by police https://t.co/RIFrA7sEPl
— Wisdom of The Lion (@sonofselassie) November 8, 2021
The incident occurred at a three-story home located at 27 Ingleside Street at approximately 6:15 p.m. when officers rushed to respond to a call of a domestic violence situation inside the residence.
Police stated that when they arrived, they encountered the suspect, a 37-year-old man, on the third floor landing of the house. The suspect immediately assaulted the officers with a knife and stabbed one of them in the neck. Boston Police Superintendent-in-chief Gregory Long said in a statement:
“Another officer on scene discharged his firearm, striking the suspect.”
Long said the suspect, who has not yet been named to the public, was transported to a Boston area hospital where he was pronounced dead. The suspect’s name will be released after an autopsy is completed.
Sources within the department said the knife-wielding attacker previously choked a female officer to the point of unconsciousness when she responded to the same home for another domestic violence call back in 2018.
The police officer who was stabbed in the neck and head was rushed to Boston Medical Center. His stab wounds were said to be non-life threatening.
The officer, who has not been identified by authorities, was released from the hospital on Sunday, November 7th.
Police Officer Stabbed After Responding To Domestic Violence Call; Suspect Shot And Killed.https://t.co/Vqan7Jao9U#Boston #Dorchester #Truecrime #podcast #radioshow #talkradio #syndicatedradioshow #LETpodcast #letradioshow #police #Sheriff
— John Jay Wiley (@JohnWil21815218) November 7, 2021
Long said the other responding officers were also transported to the hospital for evaluation. Investigators recovered the suspect’s knife at the scene. Investigators spend the night after the incident interviewing residents and potential witnesses. They are searching for any surveillance video from neighboring buildings.
Reportedly, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins’ office will lead the investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting, following normal protocol. Rollins’ spokesperson, Matthew Brelis, said in a statement:
“The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office is directing and controlling the investigation into the incident and personnel are on scene.”
An officer was stabbed Saturday and three officers were shot Tuesday in Dorchester..leaders from different city faith groups are now asking the community to stand with Boston Police @wbz pic.twitter.com/zgu2M8mYL5
— Zinnia Maldonado (@ZinniaDee_TV) November 11, 2021
In a separate incident in Dorcester, MA, three Boston police officers were shot and a suspect was killed during a standoff on November 9th. Chief Long said that at 9:30 a.m., officers responded to a call at Ferndale Street about a person with a gun.
When police arrived on scene, they found a suspect had threatened people inside an apartment with a firearm. The suspect then barricaded himself inside.
Negotiations lasted for nearly six hours and involved SWAT teams and Boston police negotiators. Police were inside the apartment around 3:30 p.m. when the suspect fired at the officers, striking three of them. Police returned fire, shooting the suspect multiple times. He as pronounced dead at the scene.
The three officers were taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. As of the afternoon on November 10th, two had been released. The third is also expected to recover. Long said in a statement:
“In the last three days, we’ve had four Boston police officers suffer injuries as a result of lethal force. This highlights the dangers the men and women of this department face every single day they put on this uniform.”
Boston Police Officer Released From Hospital After Being Stabbed in Dorchester https://t.co/CwWVTghJxx
— American Police Beat (@apbweb) November 8, 2021
On Thursday, November 11th, the third officer was released from the hospital. A crowd of officers and well-wishers waited outside Boston Medical Center to greet the officer as he exited the hospital just after 3 p.m. Larry Calderone, president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, said in a statement:
“He’s happy to be discharged. He’s looking forward to going home and spending time with the family, and he’s very thankful to the doctors, nurses and everybody here at BMC.”
When discussing the recent violence, Calderone said:
“We’re to the point where in the last few days, we have had four of our officers stabbed or shot and it’s a total disregard for public safety in general.”
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