Teen Driver Sentenced for Unlawful Fleeing and Causing Crash That Seriously Injured Buffalo Police Officer

Modified: October 28, 2021 5:38pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that a 16-year-old male from Rochester, N.Y. was sentenced this afternoon before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case, a designated Youth Part Judge, to a determinate sentence of 9 years in prison followed by 3 years of post-release supervision.

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 a responding Buffalo Police patrol vehicle.

Buffalo Police Officer Jonathan Negron, a patrol officer in the department’s Ferry-Fillmore “C” District, was rendered unconscious from the impact. He was driven by another responding Buffalo Police officer to ECMC where he was hospitalized for several weeks to undergo multiple surgeries for serious physical injuries to his head and spine. Officer Negron 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.

The adolescent offender pleaded guilty 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). He pleaded guilty to all counts in the indictment against him on September 22, 2021.

“Instead of stopping the vehicle to allow police to investigate, this adolescent offender sped off through the streets of Buffalo and Cheektowaga, putting the lives of everyone in his path 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 Jonathan Negron well in his continued recovery. I hope that he feels that justice has been served by this teenager pleading guilty to all of the charges against him and being sentenced to a term of imprisonment,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

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.