SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) — An LA County Sheriff’s detective can smile now as he relates the story of how he was able to return to work within weeks of being stabbed last year.
Elliott Uribe was stabbed in broad daylight in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. Uribe was, amazingly, back to work two weeks later.
His recovery has been nothing short of remarkable.
He told KCAL9’s Amy Johnson that, at first, he didn’t even realized he was stabbed.
“I felt like it was, all I can describe it was [like] a punch to my chest,” Uribe says. “I didn’t know at the time what had happened until I saw his hand retract, and I saw the knife in his hand.”
The incident happened on January 8, 2018. Uribe was stabbed in the parking lot of a Jack in the Box in Canyon Country.
He’d never seen his assailant before. The man asked him if he was a cop. Uribe wasn’t in uniform nor was he wearing protective gear.
“I looked down and saw that I was bleeding. I made it to my County vehicle and put out [an] emergency traffic [call].” Uribe says.
“Once I finally realized that I was stabbed and saw the blood I believe there was a time in my mind where I said ‘I really hope that this isn’t a life-ending injury.’ And when I made it to my car, and was able to put out [a call for] help, I did say a prayer,” Uribe says.
Responding officers found the stabbing suspect — 21-year-old Donald Chinchilla — hiding in a nearby backyard.
After being treated for the stab wound, Uribe returned to work just two weeks later.
“I’m a child abuse detective,” he says, “So, I really have a passion for what I do. I also felt that that was the healing process if I’m coming back to work as well. And if kind of help get me through what had happened to me.”
He showed Johnson video that was taken that day.
“It takes me back there,” he says, matter-of-fact. “Even though it’s been a year, at points, I still get a little emotional, seeing what happened.”
He admits that he worries that he could be attacked again.
“You know, it happens once,” he says, “Why couldn’t it happen again? That’s why I stay so hyper-vigilant.”
Uribe doesn’t have time for pity or to feel sorry for himself.
“I don’t feel that I’m a victim,” he says, “I feel like I’m a crime survivor.”
It is still unclear why the suspect attacked Uribe.
“At the end of the day, that’s a question I have myself as well. Why me? And I may never know that answer. And that’s okay.”
The suspect has been charged with premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer.