BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – A man was arrested Tuesday after a body cam shows the officer being dragged from a vehicle. The incident then led police on a pursuit along Interstate 595 in Broward County.
The driver from Pembroke Pines, Thomas Cabrera, 38, faces charges of attempted murder of a police officer.
Pembroke Pines police said Officer Jon Cusack, a 19-year veteran of the force, was called to a possible overdose in a car at Century Village. Cusack’s body camera captured the high drama incident, reported ABC News.
Police said a security guard in the neighborhood called authorities after spotting a man and a woman inside the car who were unconscious. A clear baggie containing an unknown substance could also be seen inside the car, authorities said.
As Cusack tried to alert the driver to his presence, suddenly Cabrera aroused and placed the car in drive. Cusack reached into the vehicle to try to prevent Cabrera from leaving. The officer then hung onto the vehicle as Cabrera fled.
Cusack was dragged for more than half a mile by the vehicle as Cabrera drove at speeds of up to 60 mph, authorities said.
Police said Cusack clung to the vehicle to avoid being run over.
When a Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue crew responded to the initial overdose call Cabrera changed his direction of travel and tried to crash into their truck to cause Cusack to fall from his vehicle, police said.
Authorities said Cusack eventually released his hold once the driver slowed his speed as he approached the Century Village exit.
Cusack was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.
The car that took Cusack for a ride got onto northbound Interstate 75 before continuing east on I-595. It eventually slowed down because of oncoming traffic, allowing officers to corner the suspects on the shoulder.
With weapons drawn, officers ordered the suspects out of the car.
All lanes of eastbound I-595 were closed during the takedown.
Police said Cabrera later admitted to using both cocaine and heroin.
The female suspect has not yet been identified and it’s unclear whether she will face charges.
“We wish to thank our residents who have offered both support and prayers for the safety of our officers during this time. We also want to extend our gratitude to our neighboring law enforcement agencies who helped us take these suspects into custody,” the Pembroke Pines Police Department said in a statement.
The officer injured in today's incident at Century Village is 19-year veteran Officer Jon Cusack; his injuries are non-life threatening but severe, and require surgery. Body camera footage of the incident can be viewed here ➡️ https://t.co/1XD2j8i9Iz pic.twitter.com/cAKBlsPvf1
— Pembroke Pines PD (@PPinesPD) December 19, 2017
Cusack’s partner told Local 10 News reporter Ian Margol that the 47-year-old Cusack is in good spirits, but suffered severe road rash all over his body.
Cusack spoke publicly later in the day through the Broward Police Benevolent Association, saying that he’s just happy that he wasn’t more seriously hurt or killed.
“He’s doing very, very good — good spirits. His wife and three kids are there, so he’s in good spirits,” Broward PBA president Jeff Marano said.
He said the incident could have been much worse for Officer Cusack.
“He has some injuries to both forearms and then his feet. Obviously, when he was being dragged, it just went right through his boots,” Marano said.
Marano said Cusack isn’t letting the incident put a damper on his holiday plans.
“They have a trip planned to go to Disney this weekend and he’s still going to go,” Marano said.
Cusack is expected to make a full recovery.