Police video captures woman stabbing officer in cartioid artery after traffic accident

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Body camera footage released by the St Lucie County Sheriff’s Office on Florida’s eastern coast shows a 22-year-old deputy being stabbed in the neck by a 21-year-old woman as he investigated a traffic accident.

Deputy Cody Colangelo was responding to reports of a rollover crash on Wednesday night at around 11pm, but when he got to the crash site he found an empty vehicle.

Witnesses told the officer that the driver, who was later identified as Leigha Michelle Day, 21, had left the car and ran down an embankment, according to WFLA.

On Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office said Ms Day was “emotional” as Mr Colangelo tried to speak to her.

The video, released on Friday, shows the officer walking down some stairs toward Ms Day, who is pacing near the water’s edge.

“What’s going on?” Mr Colangelo asks as it becomes clear Ms Day is in tears.

“I don’t know,” Ms Day responds.

“Are you just in a crash?” the officer adds.

Ms Day then starts walking away.

“Ma’am, come up here,” the deputy says. “Don’t walk away.”

Mr Colangelo walks toward Ms Day, who appears increasingly upset.

“Walk upstairs, all right? Let’s get out of this water area,” Mr Colangelo says.

“I don’t wanna. I’m scared,” Ms Day answers, but she then agrees to walk up the steps.

“Don’t run. Slowly walk,” the officer says, walking behind her.

Around halfway up the stairs, Ms Day can be seen in the body camera footage suddenly turning around and stabbing the officer in the neck, prompting the officer to scream.

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The authorities said his carotid artery was nicked in the altercation.

Ms Day walked away as the officer fired one shot in her direction, which she missed. The Sheriff’s Office said Mr Colangelo followed Ms Day while putting pressure on her wound to stem the bleeding from her.

Despite his injury, Mr Colangelo, who joined the agency in 2020, was able to radio for help. Ms Day was later found and detained.

Leigha Michelle Day, 21, was detained after stabbing an officer in the neck

(St Lucie County Sheriff’s Office)

Leigha Michelle Day, 21, was visibly upset during the encounter

(St Lucie County Sheriff’s Office)

Deputy Cody Colangelo managed to survive the knife attack by applying pressure to his neck wound

(St Lucie County Sheriff’s Office)

A knife was found following the stabbing

(St Lucie County Sheriff’s Office)

Mr Colangelo was in surgery for two hours at HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital following the stabbing. Part of his neck artery from him was replaced with one taken from his leg from him.

“Usually, people don’t do well with that injury,” Dr. Christopher Binette, who performed the surgery, told WPTV.

The doctor added that applying pressure to his neck was “probably the thing that was the most important manoeuvre before he got here”.

The Sheriff’s Office has said that Mr Colangelo is resting at home and is expected to be okay.

Doctor Binette added that things could have been worse if he had been stabbed two or three inches further down.

“If the knife had a downward trajectory – very, very different story,” he said. “He probably wouldn’t have made it to the hospital.”

Ms Day is detained at St Lucie County Jail charged with premeditated first-degree attempted murder.

Investigators have revealed that they think she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the stabbing took place.

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www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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