The Oceanside police officer intentionally hit by a driver as he was writing a traffic ticket is now back on the job Tuesday.
Officer Brad Hunter suffered a severe head injury, a shattered leg and was left in a coma for days. The 29-year veteran said he’s “feeling great” and was thrilled to be back at work seven months after the incident.
Hunter was conducting a traffic stop at Foussat Road, just south of Oceanside Boulevard on June 19 when a car slammed into him. He has no memory of the day he was injured.
“I stopped for a second and took a picture of the police station. I took a picture of my desk before I sat down at it. It was like starting a brand new job,” said Hunter.
For now, the officer is on light duty working in traffic investigations. He hopes to be back on his motorcycle sometime in February. He said staying focused on a return to work was helpful in his recovery.
“Part of it is to be able to, I guess, prove to myself, yes, I’m overcoming this and another part of it is not letting somebody else dictate how my career ends,” said Hunter.
Once he is medically cleared, Hunter will be back on his motorcycle and continue enforcing traffic laws in Oceanside.
Roberto Ignacio Flores, 26, of San Marcos is now serving 29 years to life in prison. He was convicted of first degree attempted murder and hit and run. During the trial, he had several emotional outbursts and was escorted from the courtroom.
“It did certainly hit me, what a lack of remorse he did have and how self-centered he was throughout the entire trial,” said Hunter.
Hunter says he’s grateful for all of the support he received during his recovery. It included a blood drive, where 400 pints of blood were raised. Dozens of letters of support were sent to NBC 7 and passed on to the officer.
“This little event, someone who intended to do something so evil, has turned into, it’s rippled out in such a positive way," said Hunter."You can’t help but feel floating with excitement."
Even shortly after leaving the ICU, Hunter kept a positive outlook and called himself a 'blessed guy' for surviving the crash.