Syracuse, NY (WBNG Binghamton) An Ithaca Police Officer shot in the line of duty is escorted back home from the hospital.
Anthony Augustine, 44, was released from Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.
Augustine was discharged from the hospital around 10:15 a.m. Thursday. He walked out to clapping and a line of police cars, motorcycles and emergency vehicles. A motorcade escorted Augustine down Interstate 81 South home to Ithaca.
Nearly a dozen agencies were there to support Augustine, who is a five year veteran of the Ithaca Police Department. Augustine did not talk to the media but his commanding officer in the platoon, Lt. Vincent Monticello, held a news conference following his release.
"He's a great officer. He's great to work for. I want him back on my platoon. We look forward to him coming back to work," said Lt. Vincent Monticello, Ithaca Police Department, "He continues to recover and we expect he'll make a full recovery."
On October 11, Augustine was shot while chasing the driver of a suspected car theft in the West Hill area of Ithaca.
Police say Jamel Booker, 22 of Ithaca, shot Augustine in the upper left side of his chest. The bullet went just outside the reach of his bullet proof vest.
"One of the paramedics from Bangs Ambulance had recently undergone combat wound training and as a result between that an a medical gauze called quick clot that was used in the field that night by the paramedics, which saved his life," said Monticello.
Monticello was flown to University Hospital. While in the hospital's care he had two surgeries. He also had a minor stroke and suffered a collapsed lung. This has caused Augustine to have difficulty moving his left hand and arm.
“On behalf of all the members of the Ithaca Police Department and the Augustine Family, a heartfelt thank you to the members of Bangs Ambulance, Ithaca, NY, Lifenet 7-8, Sidney, NY and the nurses and physicians at University Hospital, Syracuse, NY for the excellent medical care you provided to Officer Augustine," said Monticello.
Jamel Booker is charged with aggravated assault of a police officer and criminal use of a firearm. He is in Tompkins County Jail on $500,000 bail.
Lt. Monticello said Booker is a violent felony offender who should have never been on the street. Monticello says the Ithaca Police Department is upset that Booker is out of jail. He was released in September on other charges.
Booker was charged with attempted murder in February in connection with a shooting in April 2011 in Ithaca on West Green Street. The charges were dismissed in September by a Tompkins County judge due to "a technicality", according to Monticello. He says the District Attorney's Office is appealing that decision.
"We hope that the judicial system plays out and that he's tried and convicted and sentenced to prison for a long period of time," said Monticello.
The case will be presented to a grand jury on November 15.
Cayuga Radio Group along with Ithaca Agway and Cayuga Lumber have created a giant “oversized” get well card and are inviting members of the community to sign it.
The card is seven feet tall and over six feet wide and will be on display at various locations in the community. The card is fitted with a drop box slot for people to make direct contributions. One-hundred percent of all monies collected will go to Officer Augustine and his recovery effort.
“We are proud to support Officer Augustine and the Ithaca Police Department during this very difficult time. We wish Officer Augustine a speedy recovery” said VP/GM Chet Osadchey. “He is a hero, and this card gives caring people the opportunity to express their sincere gratitude to him.”
The card will be signed by Mayor Svante Myrick on October 19, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. at his office. The card will also be at Maguire Chevrolet on Cinema Drive from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, 2012.
A full list of locations, dates and times the card will on display will be announced on each of the seven Cayuga Radio Group stations: 870AM/95.9FM News Talk WHCU, Progressive Talk 1470AM WNYY, Classic Rock I-100 WIII-FM, Q Country 103.7FM WQNY, HITS 103.3FM, 98.7 FM The Vine, and Lite Rock 97.3 FM.