PELHAM MANOR, N.Y. Injured Pelham Manor Police Officer Michael Tillistrand is still undergoing physical therapy but is making a great amount of progress and is eager to come back to work, Pelham Manor Police Chief Al Mosiello said.
He wants to come back thats what he said to me the other day when I saw him I cant wait to come back. He loves being a police officer, Mosiello said. So, hopefully, he will be back soon. I dont know how soon, but sooner than we all expected, thats for sure.
Tillistrand suffered serious injuries during a Nov. 15 traffic stop, which left him in critical condition after he was hit by a car at 6:30 p.m. He declined to comment until he returns to active duty.
The chief is happy with Tillistrands speedy recovery and said that Tillistrand told him the doctors are very, very, very happy and surprised that hes making such great progress.
Mosiello did not expect Tillistrand, a Yorktown resident, Afghanistan war veteran and former New York City police officer, to be able to recover as quickly as he has. Mosiello called it amazing.
I never really experienced anybody with a head injury like that, but I was under the assumption that it was going to take an extreme amount of time for recovery, and I didnt know what the capacity was after his recovery, Mosiello said. But after seeing him hes young, ambitious I guess hes got great healing powers. So, hopefully, youll be doing a story that he returns to work.
Detective Tim DiSantola and Mosiello described Tillistrands demeanor and recovery as strong and ambitious. Mosiello said Tillistrand told him that as soon as the doctors give him clearance, hes really optimistic that hes going to come back to work.
While Tillistrand is young, the chief said hes accomplished a lot, including serving as an officer in the New York Police Department for five years and coming home from the war in Afghanistan as a captain in the U.S. Army. Before serving in the Army, he graduated from the University of North Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in history.
The car that struck Tillistrand was driven by Jillian Ruggiero, who is the daughter of Pelham Manor Fire Chief Joseph Ruggiero. No charges have been brought against her as the case is still under investigation, said Lucian Chalfen, spokesperson for the Westchester County district attorney.
Were waiting for the accident reconstruction report to be sent over from the county police, Chalfen said. Theyre the people who are doing it. So once weve received that, well make a determination, and then well go from there.
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