Passenger Inside Vehicle Also In Court


HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A driver accused of striking and critically injuring a Suffolk County police officer and his passenger faced a judge on Tuesday.

Officers from Suffolk County flooded the courtroom as Chad Morizsan, 34, and Nicholas Franzone, 22, were arraigned in Central Islip.

Morizsan, the alleged driver, is charged with grand larceny, assault on a police officer, leaving the scene of an accident, robbery and other charges.

He was ordered held on $30 million bond, the Associated Press reported.

Franzone was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and was held on $450,000 bond, the AP reported.

PBA President Noel DiGerolamo had harsh words for the suspects.

“These individuals we’re referring to as defendants, they are not,” he told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs. “They’re parasites and they feed off our society.”

Ahead of his court appearance Tuesday, Morizsan said he was “very sorry,” CBS 2’s Diane Macedo reported.

Officer Nicholas Guerrero (credit: Suffolk County Police Department)

Officer Nicholas Guerrero (credit: Suffolk County Police Department)

It all started around 1:30 p.m. Monday when Officer Nicholas Guerrero and Officer Heriberto Lugo pulled over a stolen Ford Explorer on Partridge Lane in Huntington, police said.

As the officers tried to talk to the two men inside, the car took off, striking the cops and critically injuring Officer Guerrero with a very serious head injury, police said.

“The defendant chose to flee the scene and in doing so, he struck Officer Guerrero,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.

Police said the driver, identified as Morizsan, then sped off to a local gas station where he stole gasoline and collided with another vehicle.

That’s when he and his passenger, identified as Franzone, sped off to Commack and carjacked a second car from an 87-year-old woman, police said.

“They threw the woman out of the car and onto the ground and took off,” Spota said.

“My neighbor was in the driveway with her car,” said witness Lou Darconti. “They didn’t hurt her or anything.”

But the trail didn’t end there. The pair then fled to Central Islip where police said they were finally arrested inside a Target store.

Court papers reveal that after his arrest, Morizsan admitted to striking the officer, saying, “I just cut the wheel and stepped on the gas. I hit the cop on the passenger side,” 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.

Officer Guerrero, a four-year veteran, was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital. As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, Guerrero remained in critical, but stable, condition at the hospital after undergoing a neurosurgical procedure.

“Officer Guerrero is a very hardworking, dedicated, well-respected member of police department,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Edward Webber said in a statement. “He is a true professional. Our thoughts are with him and his family and we pray for his full recovery.”

“Please keep Officer Guerrero and his family in your thoughts and prayers,” DiGerolamo said.

Officer Lugo suffered minor injuries and was treated and released.

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