(Rochester, N.Y.) -- Rochester Police Officer Anthony DiPonzio, who was seriously injured in January, was released from St. Mary’s Brain Rehabilitation Center Wednesday around 9:45 a.m., escorted by several police cars.
Officer DiPonzio walked out of the hospital to a sea of applause, and after a quick salute to his fellow officers, he was on his way home.
Followed by an extensive police motorcade, Officer Paul Dondorfer had the honor of driving DiPonzio and his family to their home in Greece.
“It's a great feeling. It's a great day. Everyone is very very excited, and so am I,” Officer Dondorfer said.
Dondorfer drove Officer DiPonzio to the hospital the night of January 31, when he was shot in the back of the head on Dayton Street.
“It feels great,” Dondorfer said. “It feels great not to have to rush anywhere this time with him.”
Doctors say Officer DiPonzio continues to defy the odds with his recovery, but he still has more outpatient rehabilitation and surgery ahead of him.
“They're going to be just making sure that the skull is all in tact, and he doesn't need to wear the helmet,” said Dr. Mary Dombovy at Unity Health System.
Tyquan Rivera, 15, is accused of shooting DiPonzio and is set to appear in court Wednesday afternoon to argue motions.
His jury trial is scheduled for August 10.