Teen Driver Indicted for Unlawfully Fleeing, Causing Crash That Seriously Injured Buffalo Police Officer

Modified: October 28, 2021 5:41pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that a 16-year-old male from Rochester, N.Y. was arraigned this morning before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case on an indictment charging him with one count of Assault on a Peace Officer, Police Officer, Firefighter or Emergency Medical Services Professional (Class “C” violent felony) and one count of Unlawful Fleeing a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree (Class “E” felony).

It is alleged that on Thursday, June 3, 2021, at approximately 12:58 p.m., a Buffalo Police officer was responding to a 911 call for a report of four individuals in a vehicle with a gun at Crossman Avenue and Heminway Street. When the officer encountered a vehicle matching the reported description nearby on Genesee Street, the adolescent offender allegedly drove away at a high-rate of speed eastbound toward the Town of Cheektowaga. After a brief pursuit, the adolescent offender allegedly continued onto Pine Ridge Road, drove through Mount Calvary Cemetery, crossed onto Harlem Road, and crashed into two vehicles and a utility pole near Mafalda Drive. The collision caused the utility pole to fall and crash through the front windshield of the Buffalo Police patrol vehicle.

Buffalo Police Officer Jonathan Negron, a patrol officer in the department’s Ferry-Fillmore “C” District, was seriously injured and rendered unconscious from the impact. He was driven by another responding Buffalo Police officer to ECMC where he was hospitalized for several weeks with serious head and spinal injuries. He continues to recover from those injuries.

After the collision, the adolescent offender and three other individuals allegedly ran from the vehicle, but were quickly apprehended and taken into custody. No weapons were recovered from a search of the vehicle.

“Instead of stopping to allow police to investigate, this adolescent offender is accused of speeding through Buffalo and Cheektowaga, putting everyone on those streets in danger and seriously injuring a Buffalo Police officer. This reckless behavior is unacceptable and he will be held accountable for his actions,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

Judge Case remanded the adolescent offender to the custody of the Erie County Youth Service Center. The adolescent offender is scheduled to return on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. for motions.  

If convicted of all charges, the adolescent offender faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

DA Flynn commends Buffalo Police Department, Cheektowaga Police Department and the other responding police agencies for their quick actions to assist the injured officer as well as for their work in the investigation. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ryan D. Haggerty of the Homicide Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Noha A. Elnakib of the Community Prosecution Bureau.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.