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Man accused of trying to kill deputy held without bail

Posted at 1:11 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 13:11:44-04

21 year-old Justin Haffa was arraigned on three separate charges, stemming from an incident at a traffic stop in the town of Pomfret.

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Acting Chautauqua County District Attorney brought forth attempted murder, assault and robbery charges. Haffa pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A judge remanded Haffa to custody without bail.

Acting District Attorney Patrick Swanson said despite Haffa's lack of criminal history, he asked Haffa be remanded without bail because of the severity of the crime against a law enforcement officer. "Our officers in this county are good people, they come to work everyday, they want to go home from work every day like we do. They don’t want things like this to happen on a routine traffic stop, this didn’t need to happen."

Haffa's attorney, Nathaniel Barone, said having Haffa in custody may actually be beneficial. Barone said having Haffa behind bars means the defense can explore all options they need, including a psychiatric evaluation, "Based on some of the info provided to me, it appears as though a psychiatric evaluation would be prudent.”

Police say during a traffic stop on Route 60 in the town of Pomfret, Haffa wrestled a female Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputy to the ground and pulled a knife on her. In an attempt to save her own life, the deputy fired her gun. 

Haffa was not struck, but managed to grab the deputy's gun and run away from the scene. He was found hours later after a resident called in a suspicious person.

Haffa is scheduled for a conference October 3rd.