BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A judge has ordered the Rochester teen accused of causing the crash that seriously injured a Buffalo police officer to remain in custody and the case will now head to a grand jury.
The 16-year-old suspect was in court Tuesday and appeared on felony proceedings in front of Judge Kevin M. Carter.
The Erie County District Attorney's Office called on two witnesses to describe what took place June 3 and led to 29-year-old Buffalo police officer Jonathan Negron being seriously injured.
Officer Daniel Igielinski said he responded to the call of a gun in the car, was driving alongside the white SUV trying to stop it and saw the pole strike officer Negron's patrol vehicle.
Igielinski said he helped apprehend the four occupants of the car then went to officer Negron. He described Negron as slumped over, gasping for air, unresponsive and seriously injured. Igielinski said he checked for a pulse, cleared his airway and checked for other injuries before putting him in another police car to go to ECMC.
The district attorney's office presented two videos of evidence of the white SUV striking the pole, the pole then striking Negron's patrol vehicle and the four occupants fleeing the vehicle.
Detective Mark Costantino was then called as a witness. Costantino said he interviewed the 16-year-old suspect who told him he was operating the vehicle, intentionally tried to flee police because he was paranoid and had two hand guns inside the vehicle.
Judge Carter ruled there is reasonable cause the 16-year-old driver committed crimes of of assault on a peace officer, police officer, firefighter or emergency medical services professional (Class “C” violent felony) and unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the second degree (Class “D” felony).
The 16-year-old will remain in custody and the case will now head to a grand jury. Further proceedings are scheduled for July 20 and an indictment is anticipated before then.