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Denver Fire Chief Returns To Work 1 Day After Stabbing: 'Surreal Experience'

DENVER (CBS4) - Denver Fire Chief Eric Tade returned to work less than 24 hours after he was attacked and stabbed right outside the Denver Fire Department Headquarters.

"I did return back to work today and have a prognosis of a full recovery," said Tade during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon. "As long as I'm able to come to work, I come to work."

denver fire chief eric tade
Denver Fire Chief Eric Tade talks about being stabbed (credit: CBS)

Tade was attacked inside his unmarked black SUV as he was driving on Speer and Kalamath on Tuesday afternoon.

"Yesterday I did receive several stab wounds, one to my right leg and my right hand received several deep lacerations needing some tendon repair in two of my fingers," said Tade.

Tade thanked those who helped him in the moments after the attack and said he was thankful to be so close to the fire station.

"Probably the scariest thing was being restrained, being trapped while it was going on," said Tade.

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Denver Fire Chief Eric Tade's injuries (credit: CBS)

"I think it caught everybody off guard a little bit," said Tade, "It surprised me, too."

Marlene Zacevich-Rodriguez, 42, was arrested in connection with the stabbing. She was being held for investigation of aggravated assault.

"I'm in my car and the next thing I know someone is stabbing me," said Tade. "It was very unusual, it was a very surreal experience."

Zacevich-Rodriguez was arrested thanks to some witnesses.

Marlene Zacevich-Rodriguez
Marlene Zacevich-Rodriguez i(credit: Denver Police Department)

Tade said there are some homeless in the area but the firefighters hadn't had any issues with them.

"First time I had ever seen her, she's never to the best of my knowledge been here or had any incidents here," said Tade.

Police said there is no apparent connection between Tade and Zacevich-Rodriguez and that she did not target him because of his position with the Denver Fire Department.

Denver Police spokesman Doug Schepman said the attack appears to be random, "Motive has been a big question among folks, at this time it does not appear that Chief Tade was targeted because he is a public safety official."

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