NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A teenager accused of trying to kill an NYPD officer pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault on Friday.
Dozens of NYPD officers crammed into a 17th floor courtroom in Brooklyn for the arraignment of Justin Murrell.
Murrell, 15, was wearing handcuffs and shackles as he left the 67th precinct station house and arrived at court, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
On June 3, Murrell was driving a stolen car with three other teens when officer Dalsh Veve tried to stop them while investigating reports of shots fired, Aiello reported.
Murrell took off, dragging Veve for a block and a half, police said.
The prosecutor said the teenage driver hit 56 miles per hour as he sped away, rocking the steering wheel left and right and swerving the car trying to dislodge the cop hanging on for dear life, Aiello reported.
Surveillance video shows Veve tumbling to the ground. He suffered massive head and spinal trauma and remains hospitalized in critical condition.
“The 6-7 is going through a lot. They’re standing watch, they’re standing by him,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said. “So I can’t tell you much more than that, but he is still very much fighting for his life.”
His medical team is looking to move him to a rehab center where he can continue his long, painful recovery.
“As Dalsh Veve, a dedicated and beloved police officer, lies in a hospital bed with his fellow officers vigilantly standing watch, we will do everything in our power to ensure that this dirtbag never has the opportunity to harm another NYC police officer or citizen of again,” said PBA president Patrick J. Lynch.
While he was being dragged, Veve managed to fire his weapon twice, injuring Murrell who was hospitalized for more than 10 days.
Murrell was released from the hospital Friday morning and appeared in court, still wearing the ID bracelet from Brookdale Hospital where doctors removed a bullet from his jaw.
Attorney Fred Pratt said the teen never intended to harm the officer.
“The indictment against my client alleges that he intended to cause Officer Veve’s death and that he intended to cause him serious physical injury and nothing could be further from the truth,” Pratt said. “The furthest thing from my client’s mind at any time was causing anyone physical injury, especially not Officer Veve.”
Although he is only 15, Murrell will be charged as an adult. Murrell is a gang member with serious crimes on his rap sheet, including 11 arrests for robbery, burglary and grand larceny, police said.
Two teenage girls also face charges for helping Murrell escape the scene, Aiello reported.
Court was delayed this morning so Murrell’s mother could attend the arraignment.
Murrell was charged with second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault. He was ordered held without bail and to return to court on August 22.
He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted.