‘I'm a Better Man Now Than Before the Accident': Injured SDPD Detective

A San Diego Police detective whose leg was amputated after a violent car crash in Alpine is back on the force.

Detective Chappie Hunter told NBC 7 this week that although he is still a few years out from feeling 100 percent when it comes to his missing leg, he is more physically fit overall and “a better man now than before the accident.”

In June 2013, Hunter was off-duty riding his motorcycle home when a teen girl driving with a learner’s permit turned left in front of him. The accident injured his arm, broke two ribs, gave him a concussion and took his left leg.

Two years later, Hunter is now running a CrossFit gym in his garage, focusing on giving adaptive athletes the opportunities he had during his recovery process.

“I say this all the time, but honest to God, CrossFit saved my life,” he said. “When I hit that car, of course I don’t remember anything…but the mental toughness that couples with the physical toughness and desire to push through your hardest time is what did that for me in the accident.”

Hunter said he returned to the force one year and 29 days after his accident.

“The number one thing for me is that I wanted to come back as good if not better than when I had both my legs…I think I’ve accomplished that,” he said.

Alpine-native Lindsay Hood was born with amniotic band syndrome. It left her without her left leg.

“I pass about 15 to 16 CrossFit gyms to be here, only because it’s a unique experience. He knows my limitations and how to push me,” she said. “It’s just about making those baby steps and realizing it’s never as scary as you think it is.”

Hood can now bench 280 pounds.

Hunter has plenty of members. However, for adaptive athletes, he’ll only charge them a dollar a month to train with him. He’s saving five spots exclusively for them.

“The inclusion part of the community is so much more important. To let everyone else know you can do it too,” he said.

Hunter says if he ever comes across the girl involved in the accident that took his leg, "I just want to hug it out, and I want her to know it's okay. It's okay."

To learn more about Hunter’s gym, visit his website.

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