HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - Body camera footage shows a police officer’s life or death struggle, as he was dragged down the road by a suspect’s vehicle going 60 miles per hour.
“Officer Cusack was doing what every police officer does day in and day out,” said Pembroke Pines Police Captain Al Xiques. “He tried to save the life of a perfect stranger and in the process he almost lost his own.”
Pembroke Pines Police officer John Cusack Cusack was rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Tuesday, where he underwent surgery.
Wednesday afternoon he was released to applause from his friends, family and fellow officers.
“To have survived that ordeal, to be dragged for over half a mile at speeds of over 60 miles per hour and to be able to walk out of the hospital the next day is truly amazing,” said Xiques.
Just after 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, the officer responded to a call of a possible drug overdose at the Century Village retirement community in Pembroke Pines.
Cusack’s body camera shows a man taking off, hitting speeds of up to 60 mph, after he was asked for identification. The 19-year veteran of the force hung onto the driver’s side door and was dragged for half a mile, before his body camera dislodged and fell to the ground.
“Well, you can only imagine being dragged for half a mile and on the pavement,” said Xiques. “The damages you would sustain, not only to your clothing but to your body.”
A surveillance camera on the community’s gate captured the moment Cusack fell onto the street.
As responding officers showed up, some tended to Cusack, while others went after the suspect, who was later identified as Thomas Cabrera.
“He was clinging on to that car for his life, and fortunately, he made it, he survived, and it’s a testament to his training, his experience, his knowledge as a police officer,” Xiques said.
7Skyforce HD flew over the scene as police gave chase from Interstate 75 northbound to Interstate 595 east. Cabrera hit speeds of up to 105 mph, before being cornered and stopped on 441.
According to officials, Cabrera reportedly admitted to arresting officers that he and his fiancée had been doing heroine and cocaine.
Cabrera faces several charges, including attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.
Cabrera was supposed to make a court appearance Wednesday morning, but the hearing was rescheduled due to a medical issue.
Cusack was later taken home by a police motorcade. “It’s gonna take some time for him to recover from the injuries he did suffer, so he’s going to be out of work for a little while,” Xiques said. “Hopefully, he’ll enjoy his time off, and I know he’s eager to come back.”
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