Pembroke Pines police officer released from hospital after being dragged by car

Officer Jon Cusack suffered severe road rash in incident

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Ian Margol - Reporter

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. - Pembroke Pines police Officer Jon Cusack was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon, a day after he was dragged by a car while responding to an overdose call.

Cusack gave a thumbs-up to reporters as he left Memorial Regional Hospital.

"I'm doing well!" Cusack replied when asked how he was doing. 

Authorities said Cusack suffered severe road rash in the incident that happened Tuesday morning after Cusack responded to a possible overdose in a car at Century Village. 

“He was clinging onto that car for his life and fortunately he made it. He survived and it’s a testament to his training,” said Capt. Al Xiques, a spokesman for the Pembroke Pines Police Department.

Police said a security guard in the neighborhood called authorities after spotting a man and a woman who were unconscious in the car. A clear baggie containing an unknown substance could also be seen inside the car, authorities said.

Police said the driver, Thomas Cabrera, 38, placed the car into drive when Cusack woke him up and tried to leave the scene.

Cusack reached into the car to try to prevent Cabrera from leaving, and was dragged for more than a half-mile as Cabrera drove at speeds up to 60 mph, authorities said.

Police said Cusack clung to the car to avoid being run over. 

When a Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue crew responded to the initial overdose call, Cabrera changed his direction of travel and tried to crash into their truck to cause Cusack to fall from his vehicle, police said.

Authorities said Cusack eventually released his hold once the driver slowed his speed as he approached the Century Village exit.

Police said the car got onto northbound Interstate 75 before continuing east on I-595.

It eventually slowed down because of oncoming traffic, allowing officers to corner the suspects on the shoulder.

Police, with their guns drawn, ordered the suspects out of the car. Police said Cabrera told officers he had been using both cocaine and heroin. 

The female suspect has not yet been identified and it's unclear whether she will face charges. 

Cabrera was scheduled to appear in bond court Wednesday, but the hearing had be rescheduled because he was being treated at a hospital.

Broward Police Benevolent Association president Jeff Marano said despite Cusack's injuries, Cusack is still in good spirits and plans to go to Disney with his family this weekend as he had previously planned. 

"It's a fantastic feeling to know that he was doing his job and he did it well, and he survived the incident. It's a fantastic thing," Xiques said. 

Cusack is a 19-year veteran of the Pembroke Pines Police Department. 

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