RIDE-ALONG: Walnut Creek officer back on-duty after suspect rammed his police car head-on in 2016

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WALNUT CREEK (KRON) — It was an accident that could have ended his law enforcement career.

A suspect rammed his patrol car in the summer of 2016, leaving a Walnut Creek police officer with brutal injuries.

But he battled back and returned to work full-time on Friday.

KRON4 got in the patrol car with him for his triumphant return to duty.

Nineteen months ago, walking back to his patrol car seemed impossible for Walnut Creek Officer Tom Brown.

In Jul. 2016, a suspect he was after intentionally drove into his patrol car head-on.

“My brain could think he is going to hit me, but I didn’t have time to move out of the way,” Brown said.

The crash crushed his right leg. It took 52 staples to close it, and three surgeries.

Plus, he broke his left hand, nose, and two ribs.

“The surgeon told me I might not be able to keep my leg because of the damage,” Brown said.

Officer Brown tells KRON4 it’s been a long road to recovery.

Without the help of his fellow officers, the community, friends, family, and the titanium bolts in his leg, he would not be standing today.

“Everything was catastrophic,” Brown said. “The collision, my injuries, what my family had to endure.”

Now back working full-time, he got to put his uniform on, making him feel whole again.

The suspect who hit Officer Brown is now in prison. And the K-9, the suspect stabbed while officers tried to arrest him, also recovered but just retired.

Officer Brown feels blessed to be back at work, doing the job he loves.WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON: 

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