A Long Island cop is in critical condition after a Mercedes driver stabbed him during a traffic stop Saturday night, officials said.
Suffolk County Police Officer Christopher Racioppo was in a marked cruiser when he saw Jonathan Nunez, 25, allegedly driving a 1999 Mercedes Benz erratically and without headlights in Patchogue around 10:30 p.m., according to cops.
When Racioppo tried to pull the Mercedes over, it crashed into a 2004 Nissan at the intersection of South Ocean Avenue and Brook Street, police said.
Nunez got out of the vehicle and began fighting with the officer in the front yard of a South Ocean Avenue home, police said.
During the confrontation, Nunez stabbed the officer in the leg, hitting an artery, police said. Two good Samaritans and responding officers got control of Nunez and took him into custody.
Racioppo was transported to Long Island Community Hospital in East Patchogue and then transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery for a ruptured artery and is listed in critical condition.
Nunez of 33 Holbrook Road was charged with Aggravated Assault Upon a Police Officer, Driving While Intoxicated and Resisting Arrest. He was admitted to Long Island Community Hospital in East Patchogue and will be arraigned at a later date.
The driver of the Nissan was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries
“Officer Racioppo was critically injured last evening during a foot pursuit of a suspect in Patchogue,” said Noel DiGerolamo, president of the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association, 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. … This incident reaffirms the dangers faced by Suffolk Police every time they report for duty.”