Guillermo Sandoval, a U.S. Marine veteran, explained on “Fox & Friends” on Monday how his training helped save a Long Island, New York, officer who was stabbed following a crash involving the suspect.
Sandoval has been credited with saving the Suffolk County police officer who was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition where, police said, he underwent emergency surgery.
The injured Suffolk County Police officer has been identified as Christopher Racioppo, by the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association (PBA).
Speaking on “Fox & Friends” on Monday, Sandoval explained what happened on Saturday night outside his home in Patchogue, which is located in Suffolk County, Long Island.
Sandoval, who was at home on Saturday night, told host Steve Doocy that he heard a loud noise and went outside to find “a car turned on its side.”
He added that he saw “a Nissan that had crashed into my front yard onto a tree.”
Prior to the crash, Officer Racioppo witnessed someone driving a Mercedes Benz erratically with no headlights and when he tried to pull over the vehicle, the driver slammed into the Nissan, according to Suffolk County Police.
Sandoval said when he went outside, he saw a man in the Nissan, who “seemed to be fine.”
“He gave hand signs that he was OK,” Sandoval continued.
He said he then “saw an officer trying to take down a suspect, who was the driver of that SUV.”
“The suspect acted as if he was going to give in, however, he used a curse word and basically ran to my backyard,” he continued.
Sandoval said at that point, he ran to grab a flashlight and when he returned to his yard, the “officer was unfortunately already down.”
Sandoval said there was a “commotion going on in the corner of the backyard,” which he noted was a struggle between the suspect and another man who had come to help, who he later found out was a retired NYPD officer.
Sandoval said that because the former officer also stopped to help, he was able to attend to the injured officer. Sandoval acknowledged that his military training immediately kicked in. He said he ran back into his house to retrieve a belt to use as a tourniquet for “deep gash wound” below the officer’s groin and was able to call 911.
“By the time I get down with the tourniquet and start trying to apply it, officers swooped in, they helped me, they put two more tourniquets on him, so altogether there was [sic] three,” Sandoval said, adding that he then helped officers carry Racioppo to an SUV to be rushed to the hospital.
On Monday, the Suffolk County PBA thanked all those who helped Officer Racioppo and tweeted, “We continue to pray for PO Racioppo’s quick recovery.”
“Thank you to 5th Pct [Precinct] PO [Police Pfficer] Herbst and other responding officers for their quick actions which saved Officer Racioppo’s life. Thank you as well to the two Good Samaritans who got involved.”
“I’m just glad the officer is alive and God bless him and his family and also the ex-NYPD officer that helped,” Sandoval told Doocy. “I thank him and I thank God that he was there to help me with that as well.”
Suffolk County Police said the suspect, Jonathan Nunez of Long Island, has been arrested after the “two good Samaritans” and responding officers took the 25-year-old into custody.
Nunez faces several charges, including aggravated assault on a police officer, Driving While Intoxicated and resisting arrest. Police said he was admitted to a Long Island hospital and will be arraigned at a later date.
The driver of the Nissan, was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.
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