Pocket knife stops bullet from striking Fresno County deputy

A Fresno County deputy was hit by a bullet but survived in part thanks to a knife tucked in his pocket.
December 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A Fresno County deputy was hit by a bullet but survived in part thanks to a knife tucked in his pocket.

Deputy John Capriola and his partner never thought when they went to a call about shots being fired they would be at the very center of danger. On Sunday evening, the pair were in a Squaw Valley neighborhood trying to find several people shooting in the area.

Soon after they got out of their patrol car the noises got much louder and way more intense. "I could hear it coming right towards me," said Capriola. "It sounded like a laser and it hit me in the right leg and knocked me off my feet."

Within seconds the two deputies trench crawled to find cover.

Capriola said, "I had a good partner, I told him I was hit, once we got behind cover it he jumped up and he started checking me to see where I got hit from. He saw a hole in my shirt and he thought I had gotten hit in my vest and I told him, no I got hit in the leg, I got hit in the leg."

The bullet did hit Capriola near his right thigh, but there was no blood.

"I pulled out my pocket knife, a big chunk was missing," said Capriola. "The bullet hit my knife."

The perfectly placed knife was in his right pant pocket and blocked the impact.

Capriola added, "One inch to the left, one inch to the right or up or down and it would have been a different story."

When backup arrived, deputies arrested four people for carelessly using military style guns.

Capriola's just happy he can spend time with his wife Kim this holiday. "You come home your kids don't' know what happened, they hug you. They're just happy to see dad because he's home from work."

But the father of three knows how lucky he was that bullet didn't wound him because it was so incredibly close.

"I stuck my hand in my pocket and I pulled out the bullet," said Capriola. "It was dented at the tip of it and it was right in my pocket."

Investigators collected the knife for evidence but Capriola hopes to have it back. He considers the knife his good luck charm.


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