CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Buffalo police officer was knocked unconscious after a crash at Harlem Road and Mafalda Drive in Cheektowaga Thursday afternoon.
According to Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo, around 1:00 p.m. police received the report of a white vehicle with four suspects with a gun on Crossman Avenue near Genesee Street. A C District officer responding to the call located the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop, the car fled the scene and a pursuit followed.
Rinaldo said after fleeing the scene the car continued through parts C District and went on to Pine Ridge Road eventually ending up at Mount Calvary Cemetery. Upon exiting the cemetery the suspect's vehicle crossed Harlem Road, struck a light pole and came to a rest after striking two parked cars in a parking lot at Mafalda Drive and Harlem Road. As the light pole was falling to the ground it went through the window of the officer's vehicle, striking the officer.
According to Rinaldo, other officers on scene were able to take all four suspects into custody while other officers picked the injured officer up and transported him to ECMC in a Buffalo police vehicle. The officer is currently in critical condition, he suffered a severe head trauma and is currently in the TICU unit.
NEW: Eyewitness video shows the aftermath of the crash. One officer is so upset he throws the tape. Chaotic scene. We are not showing the graphic video of the officer. @wkbw pic.twitter.com/5h9QPw798Y— Hannah Buehler (@HannahBuehler) June 3, 2021
Buffalo police say the officer who was injured in the crash is 29-year-old Jonathan Negron, a two-year member of the Buffalo Police Department, and remains in critical condition at Erie County Medical Center, as of 9 p.m., Thursday.
BREAKING: The officer involved is 29-year-old Jonathan Negron. He has been a Buffalo Police Officer for 2 years. @wkbw— Hannah Buehler (@HannahBuehler) June 3, 2021
Obviously through his actions Jonathan is a dedicated officer from the C district. From day one he has demonstrated a strong work ethic. We pray for a complete recovery. The responding officers acted heroically in their efforts to assist in getting him out of his patrol car perform lifesaving measures and transport him to ECMC. Many thanks to The Drs and medical staff that are working on him. Want to thank support received from the public as well.
The Accident Investigation Unit is handling the crash investigation and the Homicide Unit is handling the criminal investigation. Officers from other law enforcement agencies are canvassing for evidence. Rinaldo says the call was dispatched at 12:58 p.m. the officer called out his attempted stop at 1:01 p.m. and the crash occurred at 1:05 p.m.
The road was closed between Route 33 and Cleveland Drive.
Dave Lucas of Cheektowaga said he saw the suspects run from the car in two different directions and felt compelled to help. He said he started running with an officer who was chasing two suspects alone.
“The suspects were running down Mafalda, and went down about two or three houses and started to cut thought the backyard," Lucas said. "I knew that there was no fence behind this building, so I ran behind the building and got in front of them. As they were hopping the fences, I was already in the cemetery waiting for them, and they got like ten yards into the cemetery and just gave up.”
Officials say the investigation is ongoing.