FLINT (WJRT) (11/9/2018) - "Surreal, it was surreal," Lt. Jeff Neville said about seeing the man police say attacked him while he was on duty at Flint's Bishop International Airport last year.
He was the government's 16th and final witness Friday in the case against Amor Ftouhi. The testimony has lasted three days, so far.
"I'm glad it's over. I'm glad it's over." There's other battles to fight that we can get into later; but, I'm glad this part is over for sure," Lt. Neville laughed. "It's been something that's been kind of, you know, hanging over my head for a long time and I'm just glad it's done."
We heard that laugh a few times Friday while Lt. Neville was on the stand. He did tear up once or twice speaking about being attacked, but his lighthearted personality was evident as he cracked a few jokes.
Describing the attack, Lt. Neville said it felt like someone was climbing on his back, so he tried to elbow them off; because, he couldn't understand why someone would do that to him at work.
But then, he said, he quickly felt a lot of pain and what he refers to as a "Rambo knife" hit him. That's the 12-inch serated blade Ftouhi allegedly used to stab him in the neck on June 21, 2017.
Lt. Neville told the jury about his coworkers who stepped in to arrest Ftouhi when he couldn't. He explained he tried three times to grab his handcuffs, but couldn't get any traction because there was so much blood.
Rather than stare at the pool that was forming, Lt. Neville said he focused on his Concern Over Police, or COPS, bracelet.
His longtime friend and Bishop's Chief said he's grateful Lt. Neville survived, his surgeon's testimony explaining the gash was just 1 to 2 millimeters away from causing him to bleed out.
"I have flashbacks, you know, there's times when I talk about him I get a little emotional. To know what he went through and to know that I almost lost him, that gets me sometimes. But I'm okay," Chief Chris Miller said.
"I think it was such a strange experience to happen in Flint and people have really been - I mean people everyday tell me they're praying for me and praying for the department and praying for the airport. It really is touching," Lt. Neville added.
Neville no longer works for the airport. He testified that he couldn't even put his uniform on again. And, the longtime officer was just diagnosed with PTSD.
The defense will not present a case when the trial resumes on Tuesday.
Ftouhi explaining "I don't want to be cross questioned."