Father of wounded Orlando police officer talks about son's recovery
By Kimberly Wiggins, Reporter -
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Michael Hajek said his son, Ofc. Jason Hajek, was born to be a police officer.
"Since he was a child we knew he was going to be in service of some type," said Michael Hajek.
The family knows Ofc. Hajek has a long road ahead of him, but his father said Ofc. Hajek can't wait to get back in his uniform.
Ofc. Hajek started physical therapy on Wednesday.
"I don't want to say that any officer is more special than another because everybody I've met is kind of cut from the same cloth," said Michael Hajek. "They've very dedicated. Jason was well-suited because he can remain calm in situations."
Michael Hajek stepped outside his son's hospital room at ORMC to speak with FOX 35 on Wednesday. He recounted the moment he first heard about the shooting.
"Right before three a.m. we heard the doorbell ring," said Michael Hajek. "We knew immediately what happened."
The 24-year-old pulled over a car for a traffic stop early Tuesday morning. Investigators said there were two were people inside the vehicle. Police said as Ofc. Hajek began walking to the car when the driver, Demtrius Patterson, opened fire. Patterson was charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and possession of a firearm. The second person in the car has not been charged.
Hajek was hit below his bullet proof vest.
His parents counted the seconds until he woke up from surgery.
"He still had the tube down his throat until they finished the CT scans," said Michael Hajek. "But he was actually communicating; hand signals; writing notes out."
The Police Chief and Mayor came to check on Ofc. Hajek.
"Jason received a call from Governor Scott," said Michael Hajek."Jason still had the tube in so he wasn't able to converse, but we put him on speaker phone."
Ofc. Hajek is an Orlando native. Ofc. Hajek has been on the force about a year and a half.
His father said he was an Eagle Scout and an athlete. We're told he played football and lacrosse.
His father said Ofc. Hajek received a football scholarship and an appointment to the Air Force Academy, but his father said Ofc. Hajek blew out his knee. He then enrolled at the University of Central Florida.
While his parents worry about their son, Ofc. Hajek's father said he knows his son must return to work someday.
"As a parent, any parent of any child, you're always worried about their well-being," said Michael Hajek. "But you're also worried about their happiness. There's nothing Jason would rather be doing than just his job. He wants to go back tomorrow, if he could."
The family also said they are grateful for the public's thoughts and prayers.
"Somebody needs to be out there on the front lines," said Michael Hajek. "I couldn't think of anybody better than Jason."