He’s a die-hard Yankees fan who’s lucky to be alive.
Roody Nicolas, 39, had just driven his girlfriend home from last Tuesday night’s game in the Bronx when he took a stray bullet to the back of his neck, with doctors telling the fortunate victim he could easily be paralyzed or dead.
“I heard the gunshots, they were real close,” Nicolas told the Daily News on Saturday. “Then a gunshot shattered my back window and hit me in the neck. I felt like I was in another dimension. I kept screaming, ‘My head! My head!’
“And my girlfriend was wondering what was going on because she didn’t see any blood. Then the blood just started.”
Adding insult to his injury, the big Aaron Judge booster left Yankee Stadium before the ninth inning and missed the slugger’s historic 60th home run as the Bronx Bombers rallied for a 9-8 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“It was not a good night,” Nicolas told The News. “If I stayed, I could’ve avoided the bullet. It was a double-whammy.”
The Queens man, who works as a senior analyst for business intelligence at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, said everything happened quickly before the bullet struck him from behind shortly after midnight Wednesday while he was parked with his girlfriend outside her Brooklyn home.
“I mean, when they came on the scene no one saw anything,” he said. “It was just very quick. [My girlfriend] said she saw someone running after the shots.”
The NYPD said there were no arrests and the investigation into the shooting was ongoing.
Nicolas, who still has the bullet lodged between his first and second vertebrae, recalled a doctor at Kings County Medical Center explaining how fortunate he was to be alive and able to get around.
“The doctor told me if you get hit there, you’re either paralyzed or dead — but I’m neither,” he said. “Right now, they’re afraid to take it out. Since I’m fine now, I guess they don’t want to move it and something happens.”
The victim recounted how he and his girlfriend went to Yankee Stadium to watch the Yankees MVP candidate chase the American League home run record set by Bronx Bomber Roger Maris in 1961, only to whiff on seeing the slugger’s latest blast.
“We left at the bottom of the eighth, we missed it,” confessed Nicolas. “I wanted to get home early so I could go to work early in the morning ... Missed the 60th home run and went home to that.”
Nicolas, currently wearing a neck brace and taking pain medications, managed to call 911, with EMS rushing the gunshot victim to the Brooklyn hospital where he’s due back for a check-up in 12 weeks.
““I’m happy I’m alive,” he said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to count your blessings. Just taking it one day at a time. ... It was the wrong place, wrong time.”