Suffolk Police Officer Christopher Racioppo was critically injured when suspect...

Suffolk Police Officer Christopher Racioppo was critically injured when suspect Jonathan Nunez plunged a knife seven centimeters into Racioppo's left thigh, cutting an artery and a vein, according to Dr. James Vosswinkel, the head of trauma at Stony Brook University. Credit: SCPD

The Suffolk County police officer who nearly bled to death after he was stabbed during a struggle with a drunken driving suspect in Patchogue will be discharged from Stony Brook University Hospital on Monday, officials said.

Officer Christopher Racioppo, who has been hospitalized since the stabbing on April 10, was upgraded from critical to fair condition last week.

Dr. James Vosswinkel, the head of trauma at Stony Brook, has said Racioppo lost most of his blood after he was stabbed. Vosswinkel credited Suffolk cops and good Samaritans who provided treatment at the scene and rushed him to the hospital with saving his life.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart, Chief of Department Stuart Cameron and Vosswinkel, who is also the Suffolk County Police Department’s chief consulting surgeon and medical director, will discuss Racioppo's recovery at a news conference at the hospital Monday.

Vosswinkel said earlier this month that Racioppo could make a full recovery despite the severity of the injury.

"He will need rehabilitation," Vosswinkel said. "There are a lot more steps to a full recovery."

Racioppo will not participate in the news conference, officials said, but a representative of the Suffolk Police Benevolent Association will speak on his behalf. Colleagues from the department will be on-hand in a show of support for Racioppo as he is released from the hospital.

Racioppo was in a marked patrol car on April 10 when he saw a 1999 Mercedes-Benz driving south erratically with no headlights on South Ocean Avenue in Patchogue, police said.

When Racioppo attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver, Jonathan Nunez of Centereach, allegedly sped off in the Mercedes and crashed into a 2004 Nissan.

Prosecutors said Nunez climbed out of his car, which had flipped to its side, and ran into the yard of a home, where he stabbed the officer.

Vosswinkel said Nunez plunged the knife seven centimeters into Racioppo’s left thigh, cutting the femoral artery and a vein.

Nunez was charged with aggravated assault upon a police officer with a deadly weapon, driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest. He pleaded not guilty at his virtual arraignment on April 13 and was ordered held without bail.

Officials have also praised Patchogue resident Guillermo Sandoval, a former Marine who helped stanch Racioppo’s bleeding, and Frank "J.R." Recupero, a retired NYPD detective who helped restrain the suspect until he could be arrested.

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