Courageous N.Y. rookie stabbed in head never cowered

Editor's Note -- Being aware of the ways in which a person may deploy an edged weapon may give you the advantage to with the encounter:

  • Listen for the unsnapping of a button on a knife case
  • Listen for Velcro opening
  • Listen for the click of a lock blade
  • Movement behind the back
  • Drawing motion of the arm/elbow
  • The way in which a person may be packing a visible knife. A buck knife case that is holstered with the snap opening down lets you know that this person had thought about using gravity to deploy the knife quickly.
  • Palming

P-1 thanks Darren Laur, an edged weapon expert with the Victoria, BC PD and head instructor of Personal Protection Systems Inc. He has trained extensively in a variety of combat forms and specializes in reality based application and instruction.

NY officer never cowered in the face of a madman
The New York
Police yesterday described a rookie cop as a Man of Steel after he showed extraordinary courage by continuing to fight an out-ofcontrol criminal despite getting stabbed through the skull on a Brooklyn subway platform.

Gutsy Officer Angel Cruz, 35, was in and out of consciousness yesterday at Jamaica Hospital, where he underwent a delicate head operation, said Mayor Bloomberg.

"The knife actually penetrated through his skull and into his brain," the mayor said after visiting the wounded cop's bedside. "So the surgery was very serious. Doctors are optimistic. You never know, but once again one can only hope, I think it's very fair to say."

Police said the drama - which culminated in Cruz being stabbed and suspect Hugo Hernandez, 22, getting shot twice - began at 10:54 p.m. Tuesday night in the Broadway Junction station in Brooklyn Cruz questioned Hernandez and another man for smoking on the Queens-bound platform of the J train.

Cruz made the men snuff out their butts and head upstairs to the station's mezzanine level. He then asked them if they had weapons. The first man handed over a Swiss Army knife.

Hernandez, an ex-con who had been deported to his native Guatemala in 2005 after spending time in a New Jersey prison for resisting arrest and escaping police custody, refused.

Cruz decided to frisk Hernandez, who drew a 6-inch hunting knife from a sheath he had concealed under his clothes. He swung it at Cruz, sending the officer reeling a few steps backwards, where he banged into a payphone and slipped to the floor.

Hernandez charged at the officer, who was bleeding from a major slash near his left ear.

Cruz was able to recover enough to draw his weapon and fire three shots at the oncoming Hernandez. But the hail of shots failed to stop the enraged ex-con, because all of them either missed their mark or left graze wounds, cops said.

Hernandez kept charging until he reached the officer and plunged the knife into Cruz's temple. The blade got stuck in Cruz's head as the tip penetrated the cop's skull.

With a knife wedged into his head, Cruz again fired on Hernandez, this time hitting the thug twice in his elbow and forcing him to retreat down to the subway platform.

Cruz then pulled the knife out of his head, got back up and, while bleeding profusely, ran down the subway stairs after the maniac.

Hernandez soon collapsed from his wounds. Cruz also was overcome by blood loss, and fell to his knees before he could reach the suspect. Other officers soon arrived and carried Cruz from the station.

Hernandez was expected to recover from wounds to his elbow and a broken ankle. He has been slapped with a slew of charges, including aggravated attempted murder, assault and menacing weapons possession. 

Copyright 2007 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.

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