What to Know
Officer Dalsh Veve was dragged by a car last June and was in critical condition for months
He and other officers were responding to a call of shots fired, which turned out to be fireworks going off
Veve was dragged for two-and-a-half blocks; he was released from a New Jersey rehabilitation center on Monday
An NYPD officer who nearly died last year after a car took off and dragged him more than two blocks was released from a rehabilitation center early Monday afternoon — almost a full year after he was critically injured.
Officer Dalsh Veve was released from the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey shortly after 2:30 p.m. amid applause and cheers from dozens of officers who traveled to see his release.
Veve was injured in the line of duty back on June 3. It was that spring night when six plainclothes officers responded to a party in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn after multiple 911 calls for shots fired. They ultimately determined it was fireworks going off instead.
Veve was talking to the occupants of a Honda parked in front of a fire hydrant across the street when the car took off, dragging him for more than two blocks. Veve managed to fire off two shots, striking one of the passengers.
At some point, he fell free on East 53rd Street and the car -- which had been stolen sometime previously from Valley Stream on Long Island -- crashed and was abandoned.
A 15-year-old suspect was shot in the face and hospitalized in serious condition, police said. He has six prior arrests, three for robbery and three for larceny, police said.
Veve is a 10-year veteran of the NYPD. He suffered brain damage and was in a medically-induced coma at one point during his recovery.
Neil Jasey, Director of Brain Injury Services at Kessler Institute, said the fact that Veve was released from rehabilitation is incredible since when he first arrived at the hospital he was in “a vegetative state," not responding to any stimuli, following commands or communications.
"Now, he is walking with a rolling walker, with the assistance of maybe one person. He’s talking he’s eating. He’s doing very, very well,” Jasey said, adding that Veve’s “progress has been fairly remarkable.”
Police Commissioner James O’Neill said he's "absolutely amazed" at Veve’s recovery.
"He's whispering. He just gave us the thumbs-up, and we are hopeful he continues to progress," said O'Neill.
On behalf of Veve’s wife, O’Neill also thanked the medical personnel at Kessler for the care Veve received.
While Veve still has a long, difficult road ahead, O'Neill says the veteran detective won't be making the journey alone.
"The overwhelming support, I think that's what really helped, also," said O'Neill. "He sees that we didn't forget about him."