A Long Island cop who was stabbed and critically injured by a drunken driver got a hero’s welcome as he left the hospital Monday.
Suffolk County Police Officer Christopher Racioppo, who was stabbed in the leg during the April 10 scuffle in Patchogue was wheeled out of Stony Brook University Hospital, where his family, hundreds of cops and several government officials gave him a round of applause.
“Happy to go home,” the cop told reporters, as bagpipes blared in the background.
In a longer statement read on his behalf, Racioppo said he “will now begin the road to my long recovery.”
“I am proud and will always be a proud SCPD and former NYPD officer,” he said, “and I will continue to serve my community after my recovery.”
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In a statement, Suffolk County PBA President Noel DiGerolamo called Racioppo’s recovery from the potentially fatal wound — a severed femoral artery — “a miracle.”
“The swift action of his fellow officers and the excellent medical care provided here at Stony Brook saved his life,” DiGerolamo said. “Our officers put themselves in harm’s way each and every time they report to duty. Officer Racioppo’s injuries are a stark reminder of those dangers.”
Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone added: “He is a hero for what he did that night, and all the officers for the way they responded.”
Racioppo was wounded after pulling over a 1999 Mercedes Benz that was driving erratically — and crashed into another car at South Ocean Avenue and Brook Street when the driver tried to flee, according to authorities.
The driver, identified as Jonathan Nunez, 25, allegedly jumped out of the Benz and began fighting with the cop — stabbing him during the fracas.
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Nunez was grabbed and held by two good Samaritans as other cops responded to the scene, while Racioppo was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
He was originally taken to Long Island Community Hospital but was transferred to Stony Brook, where he underwent life-saving emergency surgery.
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“There’s some good in the world today,” retired NYPD Det. JR Recupero, who helped hold Nunez after he attacked Racioppo, said Monday after the wounded cop was released from the hospital.
“The amount of times that police officers are under the gun, most of the time you hear about things not going so well, or you hear that a ‘perfect storm’ is usually being used in a bad context,” Recupero said. “This is a perfect storm in an entirely different way. It’s so positive that I can’t believe it.”
Nunez was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday,
This report originally appeared in the New York Post.