MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — An NYPD officer testified Wednesday that he sensed he had happened upon something “heavy” when he pulled out his cellphone and recorded a highway pursuit that ended in the fatal shooting of a Nassau County officer.
Long Island prosecutors played now-retired NYPD Officer Robert Mancini’s video recording and subsequent 911 call as he testified Wednesday at the trial of Darrell Fuller, the Queens parolee charged with killing Officer Arthur Lopez and another man in October 2012.
“He just shot a Nassau County cop,” Mancini told a dispatcher in the 911 call, which picked up a short time after the at-times shaky video left off.
The unarmed New York City officer remained on the line for 20 minutes, updating the dispatcher on his location as he continued after the fleeing shooter down the Cross Island Parkway toward the Belmont Park racetrack and into a Queens neighborhood.
Along the way, Mancini testified, Fuller stopped his dilapidated Honda sedan behind a silver Toyota on the side of the road, pulled Raymond Facey out of the driver’s seat and shot him. Fuller then took off in the Toyota, Mancini said.
Another witness, Cornel Sylvester, said the driver of the Honda “choked” the driver of the Toyota “and flung him on the road.” Sylvester gave a general description of the assailant but said he never saw his face and could not identify him as Fuller.
Sylvester also followed the Toyota into the Queens neighborhood and his blue work van could be seen in surveillance videos recovered by police, a few seconds behind Mancini’s sport utility vehicle. Several times during the 911 call, Mancini made reference to the van — unsure if the driver too had witnessed the carnage or if he were there to help the shooter.
Mancini picked Fuller out of a police lineup the day after the killings and identified him again in court Wednesday.
Prosecutors said Lopez and his partner, Clarence Hudson, were patrolling near the Nassau-Queens counties border when they saw a car driven by Fuller collide with a van. Prosecutors said Fuller drove away and the officers pursued him as he entered the Cross Island Parkway, headed south.
Mancini, 45, told jurors he was driving southbound on the Cross Island Parkway, en route from the Bronx to a family business on Long Island, when he happened upon a Nassau County Police emergency services truck pursuing a beat up Honda sedan.
Mancini said he instinctively started recording and following the vehicles.
He said the tires on the Honda appeared to be blown out and the back bumper was falling off.
Mancini’s video showed the car and the police truck veering off the highway seconds later and ending up on a service road. Mancini said the driver of the car, whom he later identified as Fuller, got out and shot Lopez.
Fuller was out of his vehicle, prosecutors said, when Lopez approached him armed with a Taser. The prosecutor said the officer got within about 5 feet of Fuller when he opened fire.
Mancini said the gunshot sent Lopez falling from the side of the police truck.
Police said Fuller was arrested hours after Lopez and Facey were killed. In opening arguments last week, Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Mitchell Benson said Fuller first fled to a nearby day care center, where he called a friend to pick him up. That friend later shot Fuller in the arm and leg in an attempt to make it appear that Fuller had been a victim of the carnage, Benson said.
Fuller served four years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder in 2005, authorities said. He was jailed again in 2010 after violating his parole on a drug arrest and was released in 2011, prosecutors said.
The trial is expected to last month because it is being held just three days a week because Fuller is on kidney dialysis.
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