An Oceanside police officer who was intentionally hit by a driver while he was on duty described his experience, calling himself a 'blessed guy' for surviving the crash.
"I'm [a] blessed guy. My thoughts are all I have gained and all love and support my way," said Officer Brad Hunter, a 29-year veteran of the department, who is on his way to making a full recovery after a driver allegedly ran him down with his vehicle.
In the past few weeks, he's received dozens of cards and gifts from NBC 7's viewers from around the country.
He was attacked while conducting a traffic stop at Foussat Road, just South of Oceanside Blvd. Hunter was rammed onto the vehicle's windshield, shattering glass and thowing him onto the street.
"It has bothered me that someone made a choice to hurt me. In this case, [it] happened to be me," said Hunter. "See other officers attacked and killed. You never think it will happen to you -- it's very disheartening. Scary."
Despite suffering a shattered leg and severe head injury that left him in a medically-induced coma for a few days, Hunter is on his way to making a full recovery.
Although he was seriously injured in the assault, Hunter still insists on keeping a positive outlook.
"I'm a lucky guy. That is what I focus on. I'm focusing on all the positive that has come to me," said Hunter. "There's a reason that I'm here and I'm feeling the way I feel…I'm focusing on all my friends who have been supportive of me."
The suspect, Roberto Ignacio Flores, 26 of San Marcos, was later arrested and pleaded not guilty to first-degree attempted murder. While Hunter lay unconscious with a broken leg on the street, Flores allegedly sped away, and then got out of his car and ran off.
Oceanside police say Hunter is one of the kindest, gentlest souls you could ever meet. A blood drive and a fair were held on June 27 to support him.
Officer Hunter and his wife are organizing another blood drive to give back to the community next week.