Nassau officer shares story after being dragged by car

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HEMPSTEAD -

Less than 48 hours after being run over by a suspect's car in Hempstead, Nassau Police Officer Rick Bruno is out of the hospital, in uniform and speaking with News 12 about his near death experience.

News 12 reported that 21-year-old Dwayne Henderson allegedly dragged Officer Bruno, who had approached his car at the Gulf gas station on Greenwich Street around 5 p.m. Sunday. The incident was caught on surveillance video.

Police say the officer's hand became stuck on the car’s door handle, and he was dragged as the driver allegedly tried to flee. The car's rear tire also ran the officer over at one point, officials say.

MORE: Extended interview with officer dragged by car

“It hurt, but I was OK,” Bruno told News 12’s Eileen Lehpamer. “When the car started to drive away, I knew I was going to be in for something that probably wasn't going to end well.”

This isn't the first time the 33-year-old's life has been on the line. At the age of 17, while still in high school, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. A year later, after surgery, radiation and months of chemotherapy, Bruno found out he was cancer-free.

“I had no other option than to stay positive,” said Officer Bruno.

He then signed up for the U.S. Army and did a tour in Afghanistan. After returning to Long Island in 2014, he signed up to work with the Nassau County Police Department. He hopes to heal up quick and get back on the job.

“A lot of people have said, ‘You're lucky to be alive, do you feel lucky to be alive after that?’ I do. I do,” he said. “…Guardian angels were looking over me and I should probably stop testing them.”

Officer Bruno says he recently started to share his story about brain cancer because he realized it could offer hope and inspiration for others battling the disease.

Commissioner Patrick Ryder issued a statement Tuesday, saying, “We could not ask for a better example of a police officer, and we are all very proud of him.”

Henderson was arrested and charged with assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

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