Motor Officer Returns to Patrol Duties after Injury Recovery
(Cocoa, FL)—Motor Officer Rickford Leitch returned to full patrol duties on Wednesday, nearly nine months after he was injured in a hit and run crash during a police escort of the Moving Wall, Vietnam Memorial. The suspect, Norman Scott, 25, who fled after pulling into Officer Leitch’s path, is currently in jail awaiting trial on charges of leaving the scene of a crash involving serious bodily injury, driving while license suspended causing serious bodily injury and violation of probation.
On April 30, 2017, Leitch suffered serious injuries to both of his hands after the crash which caused him to be thrown from the motor, flipping him several times in the air before landing on the roadway at U.S. 1 and Rosa L. Jones Drive. After nearly one week in the hospital undergoing multiple surgeries, he spent the last nine months in physical therapy to regain use of his hands. “I walked away from the crash and that’s the most important thing,” said Officer Leitch when asked about his thoughts regarding the suspect. “It’s up to the state attorney and the law to do what is necessary. I have forgiven him and moved on and I’m just glad I’m alive.” Officer Leitch said the recovery process was lengthy and while he has regained much of the use of both hands, he still has pain at times. He said he is ready both physically and mentally to return to duty. “I’ve always been mentally geared towards coming back throughout the entire process,” he added. “I’ve always been focused on recovering wholly; not having the fear of getting back on the motor; not having the fear of doing this job. It’s a dangerous job and I love it. It’s been good.”
Leitch spent two months on light duty assisting in the records division and other areas as needed until he was medically cleared to return to full duty. It may be two more weeks before his police issue motorcycle is ready for use.