Reporting Mike Parker
(CBS) — A Chicago Police officer injured in a shocking accident four years ago — and left a quadriplegic — is making encouraging signs of improvement.
CBS 2’s Mike Parker has his story.
“It was extremely terrifying,” Officer Densey Cole II recalls. “I thought I was going to die.”
The 42-year-old CPD officer thought Rasaan Shannon would kill him with his own gun. Shannon had taken it from him as Cole lay paralyzed with a broken neck inside his police SUV after an accident at 98th and Halsted in 2009.
“He was calling me a pig and yelling at me, telling me he was going to kill me,” Cole recalls.
But Shannon did not. Instead, he stole the officer’s gun and wallet, jumped into his own car nearby and drove off.
Cole, a strapping young cop, was left a quadriplegic and has spent the years since in rehabilitation and therapy. The good news is he’s getting better. He can now move his left arm and hand and both legs.
“I have full trunk movement now,” Cole says. “So you never know, you never know. Anything can happen. I’ve never wrapped my mind around or committed to the idea that my life is in a wheelchair.”
Densey Cole is a fighter. He comes from a Chicago police family. Both his mother and father were veteran officers.
Shannon, the man who terrorized Cole and took his gun, is serving a 10-year sentence at Lawrence Correctional Center in downstate Illinois. He could be out as soon as 2016, according to the state Department of Corrections.
When asked if that sentence was enough, Cole says: “Would it be enough for you?”
Some of Cole’s doctors believe his spinal cord injury was made worse when Shannon pulled and pushed his body to get access to his weapon.