RIVERHEAD, N.Y. - Jonathan Nunez was arraigned on an indictment in court in Riverhead on Wednesday, almost three weeks after prosecutors say he stabbed Suffolk County Police Officer Christopher Racioppo in the leg, nearly killing him. Racioppo is making a miraculous recovery and was just released from the hospital on Monday.
Nunez, 25, pleaded not guilty and was remanded without bail.
Nunez is accused of driving under the influence and then stabbing Racioppo on April 10 in Patchogue.
Retired NYPD detective J.R. Recupero, who happened to be driving by as the incident was unfolding, wrestled with Nunez on the ground until backup police came to arrest him.
"This guy is a threat to anybody out there, so hopefully he is going to go to jail for a long time," Recupero outside the courthouse. "You can't redo what you did, you can say you're sorry after you've done something like this. I'm happy, justice was served for today."
District Attorney Tim Sini said Nunez was already on probation for a prior domestic incident.
"This is an individual who was high on drugs, driving erratically, and instead of pulling over and complying with lawful commands, he decided to speed through a residential area, putting so many people's lives at risk," Sini said. "These are all decisions that the defendant made."
Nunez faces assault charges and a maximum sentence of 30 years behind bars if convicted. He will be back in court on June 2.