Teen Driver Pleads Guilty to All Charges for Unlawful Fleeing, Causing Crash That Injured Buffalo Police Officer

Modified: October 28, 2021 5:39pm

9/22/2021

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that a 16-year-old male from Rochester, N.Y. pleaded guilty this afternoon before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case, a designated Youth Part Judge, to 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). The adolescent offender pleaded guilty to all counts in the indictment against him.

On Thursday, June 3, 2021, at approximately 12:58 p.m., a Buffalo Police officer was responding to a 911 call after receiving a report of four individuals in a vehicle with a gun at Crossman Avenue and Heminway Street. When the officer approached a vehicle matching the reported description nearby on Genesee Street, the adolescent offender drove away at a high-rate of speed eastbound toward the Town of Cheektowaga. During the pursuit, the adolescent offender 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 ran from the vehicle, but were quickly apprehended and taken into custody. No weapons were recovered from a search of the vehicle and the surrounding area.

“Instead of stopping the vehicle to allow police to investigate, this adolescent offender sped off through Buffalo and Cheektowaga, putting the lives of everyone on those streets in danger. His reckless actions caused serious injuries to a Buffalo Police officer who could have been killed by the impact of that crash. I wish Officer Negron a speedy recovery. I hope that he feels that justice has been served by this individual pleading guilty to all of the charges against him,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

The adolescent offender remains held in the Erie County Youth Service Center. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.

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 was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Noha A. Elnakib of the Community Prosecution and Training Bureau.