NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An NYPD detective was released from Kessler Rehabilitation Facility in West Orange, New Jersey after nearly being killed last year while trying to make a traffic stop.
Detective Dalsh Veve, 36, suffered severe brain damage when police said a teenager driving a stolen car hit the gas and dragged Veve for serval blocks.
He spent weeks in a medically induced coma. The nine-year veteran had 350 arrests and was recognized nearly two dozen times for meritorious duty.
Veve left the facility in a wheelchair with his daughter sitting in his lap as crowds of NYPD officers applauded.
“This is a positive step in Dalsh’s progress. He’s still got a ways to go as you can see, but through Esther’s faith… she said from day one that this day was going to come. I’m not sure we all believed, but we know she did,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill. “It’s just such a great day for his family and for the NYPD. Again, we didn’t think we’d ever be here right now, but as you can see the men and women of the 67th [precinct] and the men and women of the NYPD always supported Dalsh and his family.”
O’Neill said Veve still faces serious challenges but has made remarkable progress, thanks in small part to the faith of his wife Esther.
“I’ve never met a person with as much stedfast faith as [Esther] has, and clearly it paid off,” said NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker. “Just a few months ago Dalsh’s condition seemed really dire and almost irreversible. That’s not the case it seems.”
“Today’s an important day. It not only shows the strength of New York City police officers, of [Detective] Veve, but more importantly their family, which is where we get our strength,” said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association head Pat Lynch. “Let’s not forget – the struggle still goes on. Let’s keep him in our thoughts and prayers for a day when we see him walk.”
Even his doctors said his recovery was remarkable.
“Based on what I saw when he first arrived, I would not have expected this amount of recovery,” Dr. Neil Jasey said. “When he arrived, he was in what we would term a vegetative state – so, not responsive to any external stimuli following commands or communicating.”
As for his wife, her faith never wavered. Though she didn’t want to speak Monday, back in January she sat down with CBS2’s Kristine Johnson.
“I see it as a stop in our plan. It’s not the end,” she said.
The teen driver was charged with assault and attempted murder in the case.