Video shows suicidal man stab cop 7 times during rescue attempt
A new, gripping account of Officer Dane Norem’s struggle with a suicidal man and road to recovery is a must-read for all LEOs
By PoliceOne Staff
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Five years ago, Officer Dane Norem was on patrol when he came across Javier Hernandez straddling the top of a fence on an overpass.
Norem wrapped Hernandez’s leg in a bear hug and lifted his feet, hoping to keep him from jumping onto the busy highway below. Hernandez kept pulling away from Norem, but the officer was determined to not let him fall.
Hernandez then pulled out a knife and stabbed Norem seven times.
“When I got struck in the face, it didn’t really hurt,” Norem told the Desert Sun. “It felt like I had been punched and it felt wet, like a water balloon had popped. I came to figure out later that was my eye.”
Hernandez kept stabbing Norem, striking him in the eye, cheekbone, shoulder, arm and elbow. Hernandez had then pulled away from Norem so hard that his pants were coming off and he was about to go over the fence onto the highway below.
Backup officers arrived and some citizens pulled over to help. But even after multiple people attempted to pull Hernandez down, Norem was the officer who kept a hold of him. The tug-of-war ended when another officer arrived with a shotgun and hit Hernandez with a less lethal beanbag round, causing him to collapse onto the overpass.
Norem nearly lost his eyesight and his life on Oct. 25, 2012, but fought to become an officer again. Three years and multiple surgeries later, Norem returned to full duty just before the San Bernardino terror attack.
“It would have been very easy to give up,” Norem said. “I could have just medically retired, but instead I kept working to find an answer. And now, because of that, I get to keep doing what I love to do.”
Norem has never spoken about the details of that night, fearing he would jeopardize the prosecution of Hernandez. In August of 2015, Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison with the eligibility of parole in 18 years. The Desert Sun’s detailed account of the incident and the officer’s road to recovery is worth reading in its entirety, and you can find it here.