Cops and Docs Team Up to Save Meat Cutter's Hand

Three police officers donned hospital scrubs and joined a plastic surgeon in the operating room to to help save a Long Island man's hand after it was caught in an industrial meat grinder.

Bilal Hussein, 24, of Bay Shore, was recovering Wednesday at Stony Brook University Hospital.

Hussein was working at Halal Meat and Grocery in Bay Shore Tuesday afternoon when his right hand became lodged in the machine.

Suffolk County police officers Walter Justincic and Carmine Pellegrino of the Emergency Service Section detached the machine from a table and rushed Hussein and the device to the hospital.

They and officer Danny Coan then scrubbed and helped doctors sterilize and dismantle the machine.

“They brought it specialized tools that we’ve never seen before," said Dr. James Vosswinkel, chief of trauma surgery. "They dismantled the device and reversed the gears.”

Once Hussein's mangled hand was free, Dr. Alex Dagum, chief of plastic surgery, went to work.

Dagum reattached Hussein's thumb and managed to save all but one of the digits - his index finger.

Without the extraordinary assistance of the police officers, Hussein likely would have lost more than a finger, Vosswinkel said.

“For the most part, he’s very lucky,” he said.

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