Florida man charged with attempted murder for dragging police officer with car for half a mile
The officer, Jon Cusack, suffered multiple injuries and had to undergo surgery for "significant road rashes" on his limbs.
A Florida police officer from Pembroke Pines was allegedly dragged for about half a mile through the streets of Century Village on Tuesday after he attempted to stop a suspected drugged driver, according to authorities.
The officer was trying to stop the driver from fleeing and endangering the lives of other people on the road. The police said that the officer held a tight grip to save his life as the suspect sped through the retirement community. The suspect's fiance was also present in the vehicle at the time of the incident.
The officer, Jon Cusack, suffered multiple injuries and had to undergo surgery for "significant road rashes" on his limbs, according to the police department. Cusack was released on Wednesday afternoon from Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood.
WATCH: Body cam footage shows Pembroke Pines police officer being dragged by suspect’s vehicle at 60 MPH pic.twitter.com/8EHQI3n5pd— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) December 20, 2017
The suspect, Thomas Cabrera, was arrested on Tuesday and was charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, along with other charges of fleeing and eluding; driving with a suspended license and reckless driving.
Cabrera was apprehended after an intense police chase. Reports state that the Honda reached speeds of nearly 105 mph, and was followed through several cities by police officers from several departments and a helicopter from the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The woman riding with Cabrera was not arrested or charged with any kind of offense.
The officer, after his release from the hospital, waved his bandaged arm at the reporters and photographers who were present outside the medical facility he was in, according to Sun-Sentinel reports. The police officer, however, did not make any comments.
“Officer Jon Cusack is in good spirits and is recovering well post-surgery,” Pembroke Pines Police spokeswoman Amanda Conwell said in an email on Wednesday.
The officer had been probing a possible overdose case of a man and a woman who were inside a black Honda sedan, which was parked on Southwest 125th Avenue.
Pembroke Pines Police Capt. Al Xiques said that the couple in the car was asleep and unconscious and a container with an unknown substance could be seen inside the vehicle.
Xiques said that Cusack reached inside the Honda to investigate, but the driver of the vehicle, 38-year-old Thomas Cabrera, stepped on the gas and rushed the car.
The Police Captain said that as the Honda approached the community's gate at Pines Boulevard and Southwest 129th Avenue, the officer decided that it was time for him to let go of the car before he got injured further.
Police officials also released a surveillance video, which showed that the car was being followed by traffic as the officer fell to the pavement after letting go of the vehicle. Reports state that Cusack rolled out of the path of the cars which were oncoming, which possibly saved his life.
Cusack received serious injuries during the incident, however, they were not life-threatening. Police also released Cusack's body camera footage which showed his initial encounter with the driver of the Honda.
“The irony is that officers all the time respond to save the life of a perfect stranger,” Xiques said. “The outcome was that the officer almost ended up losing his life.”
According to Cabrera's arrest report, after he was detained, he admitted to police that he had attempted to pry Cusack's fingers from the door frame. Police said that Cabrera drove towards a Pembroke Pines Fire-Rescue ambulance intentionally, however, the ambulance driver avoided the crash in time. The ambulance was called to treat a possible overdose patient.
Cabrera also admitting using cocaine and heroin before the officer arrived at the spot where his car was parked, the arrest report stated. He is currently being held in a Broward County jail.
The police captain said that the officers found syringes and other drug-related items on the driver’s seat.
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