SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY – a Suffolk County police officer is reportedly in critical condition after having been stabbed during a traffic stop on the evening of April 10th.
Doctors say that the officer was literally minutes from losing his life due to the amount of blood loss the officer suffered during the incident.
A Suffolk County police officer remains in critical condition after being stabbed during a traffic stop.
He came within minutes of losing his life and is still not out of the woods. https://t.co/cYcP8m7Cid
— Crime in NYC (@CrimeInNYC) April 12, 2021
The incident reportedly occurred within the Long Island village of Patchogue, when Officer Christopher Racciopo noticed that the driver of a Mercedes was operating their vehicle with the headlights off.
Officer Racciopo attempted to pull over the driver, who was later identified as 25-year-old Jonathan Nunez, but the driver reportedly fled from the officer and wound up crashing into another car. Following the collision, officials say that Nunez exited his vehicle and attempted to flee the scene on foot.
Officer Racciopo pursued the suspect on foot, which authorities say led to a physical struggle between the suspect and the officer. Authorities say that Nunez stabbed Officer Racciopo in the leg during the skirmish, reportedly rupturing a major artery in the officer’s leg.
Luckily for the officer, retired Marine Guillermo Sandoval happened to have witnessed this struggle play out and came to assist Officer Racciopo. Employing quick thinking that likely saved this officers life, Sandoval used his belt as tourniquet while awaiting on EMS to arrive.
Sandoval says that he’s praying for the officer’s recovery:
“I prayed for him last night and I wish him well. I hope that he recuperates as soon as possible. God bless him. God bless his family. And I give him a lot of credit for doing his job and going after the suspect.”
Stony Brook University Hospital’s Chief of Trauma Surgery, Dr. James Vosswinkel, said that the injury the officer suffered is life threatening and he likely would have bled to death in a period of 20 minutes.
Even with the immediate aid that Sandoval was able to provide, Officer Racciopo still lost a majority of the blood in his body and is reportedly unable to speak while being sedated at the hospital.
While Dr. Vosswinkel hopes that Officer Racciopo recovers and will be able to use his injured leg again, he stated that he’s still in “medical shock” and is “not out of the woods yet.”
Following the stabbing of Officer Racciopo, additional officers that responded to the scene took Nunez into custody. Officials say that Nunez has been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, driving while intoxicated, and resisting arrest.
An arraignment date for the suspect has not been detailed as of this writing.
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
In other developing investigations involving wounded officers, two deputies were reportedly shot outside of a jail in Salt Lake County, Utah on April 10th.
Here’s that previous report.
SALT LAKE COUNTY, UT – According to preliminary reports, two Salt Lake County Sheriff’s deputies have been hospitalized after they were reportedly shot just outside of the Salt Lake County Metro jail on April 10th.
— Burgess Owens (@BurgessOwens) April 10, 2021
From what officials have shared so far, there was a shootout between sheriff’s deputies and an unidentified subject outside of the Salt Lake County Metro jail during the afternoon of April 10th.
Salt Lake County Sheriff’s officials stated that the suspect reportedly involved in this shootout was killed during the exchanged fire.
It is currently believed that one deputy involved in this shootout was able to return fire. One of the injured deputies remains in stable condition despite having been shot in the face.
— SLCScanner (@SLCScanner) April 10, 2021
However, the second deputy was initially noted as being in critical but stable condition after they were shot through the eye. Sheriff’s Office officials say that both deputies injured in the incident are expected to recover.
Sheriff Rosie Rivera noted that both of the deputies were part of some sort of campus security team that was patrolling the area when they had happened upon the suspect.
Apparently, the suspect was on the lawn of the sheriff’s office’s building, and then some sort of fight transpired.
SLCO Sheriff Rosie Rivera says both deputies will survive after both were shot in the face. The suspect might have been sleeping on the grass when deputies checked on him, and a fight started. pic.twitter.com/omve6regnV
— Paul Nelson (@KSLPaul) April 10, 2021
The identity of the deceased suspect was later identified as as 31-year-old Joshua Michael Johnson. Investigators are still working to determine a possible motive behind this incident.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera identified the injured deputies as Deputy Joshua Buerke and Deputy Leland Grossett.
Deputy Buerke was said to have already been released from the hospital after undoing treatment for a gunshot wound to the cheek.
As for Deputy Grossett, he’s already underwent surgery for the gunshot wound in the eye, and officials say that he’s in stable condition and that he wound up not losing his eye from the sustained injury.
Sheriff Rivera said this incident is something one wouldn’t expect to occur during “a Saturday morning,” while noting the troubling circumstances:
“It’s devastating when anybody in law enforcement is in a situation like this. For our sheriff’s office deputies and our employees, it’s something you don’t really expect would occur on a Saturday morning.”
This is a developing investigation.
Please follow law enforcement today as we continue to gather further insight into this incident.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!