An officer in Suffolk County, New York was critically injured Saturday night following an altercation with a suspect who had just crashed his vehicle, police say.
Police said Jonathan Nunez, 25, was driving a 1999 Mercedes Benz erratically with no headlights around 10:30 PM Saturday night when a Suffolk County officer Christopher Racioppo turned on his sirens to pull over the vehicle, the New York Post first reported.
The Mercedes Benz then crashed into a 2004 Nissan at an intersection and Nunez exited his vehicle, Suffolk County Police said in a press release. The owner of the Nissan Luis Tayupanda sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment.
Nunez failed to comply with Racioppo’s orders and a physical altercation ensued, police said. “During the altercation, Nunez stabbed the officer in the leg,” according to the press release. (RELATED: Homicides, Shootings Spiked In NYC During 2020)
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.
— Suffolk County PD (@SCPDHq) April 11, 2021
Racioppo was transported to Long Island Community Hospital in East Patchogue for treatment. He was then transported to Stony Brook University Hospital and underwent emergency surgery for a ruptured artery. Racioppo is in critical condition, according to police.
Nunez was admitted to Long Island Community Hospital and is facing charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest. (RELATED: Largest Police Force In US To Add Hundreds Of Officers After Budget Cuts And ‘Mass Attrition’)
“Officer Racioppo was critically injured last evening during a foot pursuit of a suspect in Patchogue,” Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association President Noel DiGerolamo said in a statement. “At the scene, fellow Suffolk County Police Officers applied a successful tourniquet, preventing further blood loss, and transported him to the hospital.”
“We extend our thoughts to Officer Racioppo and ask all Suffolk County residents to keep him and his family in their prayers as the circumstances remain critical. This incident reaffirms the dangers faced by Suffolk Police every time they report for duty.”
The Suffolk County Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.