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Suffolk County police officers cheered a colleague who was released from the hospital after he nearly bled to death when a suspect stabbed his leg. CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports.
DICK BRENNAN: A celebration today on Long Island. Suffolk Police described it as one of the finest days in the department's history.
KRISTINE JOHNSON: A critically-wounded police officer stabbed on the job two weeks ago was released from the hospital. CBS 2's Carolyn Gusoff has more now on this incredible recovery
CAROLYN GUSOFF: A moment many hoped for but feared would not come, Suffolk Police Officer Chris Racioppo heading home from Stony Brook University Hospital after being stabbed by a fleeing perpetrator.
A hero's reception for a cop who very nearly didn't make it.
- I'm happy to go home. A lot of doctors and nurses to thank. Thank you.
CAROLYN GUSOFF: The 31-year-old officer was saved by quick, decisive thinking, gravely wounded on April 10th pursuing an erratic driver who crashed then fled on foot. The driver plunged a knife deep into his leg, severing a vital artery. Good Samaritans helped stop the bleeding.
NOEL DIGEROLAMO: If not for the circumstance being laid out the way it was, with the individuals taking the action they did, there's no doubt in my mind he would not have survived this incident.
CAROLYN GUSOFF: Springing into action, a retired cop, a current cop, and a veteran.
GUILLERMO SANDOVAL: We really didn't know whether he was going to make it or not. So today is really a fabulous day.
JR RECUPERO: "A perfect storm" is usually used in a, like, bad context. This is a perfect storm and an entirely different way. It's so positive that, you know, I can't believe it. I'm just really happy that we were all there and we all did the right thing.
- I'm just ecstatic that Chris is on his way to a full recovery.
CAROLYN GUSOFF: On life support for 10 days, his major leg muscles cut.
JAMES VOSSWINKEL: Chris, essentially, had bled out his entire blood volume. Chris was in the most severe form of shock. And he literally had minutes before his cells shut down.
CAROLYN GUSOFF: A long recovery ahead, but, also, much to look forward to. The officer and his fiancee, an ICU nurse here at Stony Brook, are expecting a baby.
- I'm grateful he's coming home.
CAROLYN GUSOFF: He put his life on the line and says he will continue to serve after his recovery. In Stony Brook, Long Island, Carolyn Gusoff, CBS 2 News.
KRISTINE JOHNSON: The officer was a three-year veteran of the NYPD before he joined Suffolk Police, where he was an officer for three years. The alleged assailant, Jonathan Nunez, is now facing criminal charges.