By Arielle Dollinger
A Suffolk County police officer is in the hospital in “critical but stable condition” after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Huntington on Monday, police said.
Police arrested two Northport men in connection with the incident, after the men allegedly struck the cop with a stolen vehicle, stole gas from a gas station, hit another vehicle and carjacked the vehicle of a Commack resident, police said.
Around 1:35 p.m. Sept. 22, Second Precinct Police Officers Nicholas Guerrero and Heriberto Lugo stopped the vehicle of Northport resident Chad Morizsan and his passenger, Nicholas Franzone, also of Northport, on Partridge Lane. Allegedly, Morizsan hit Guerrero with his vehicle as the officers were trying to speak with him and Franzone.
Guerrero is in the hospital in “critical but stable condition,” police said, as of Sept. 22.
According to police, Morizsan was driving a 2014 Ford Explorer that he had allegedly stolen two days earlier in Commack when Guerrero and Lugo pulled him over. Morizsan, with Franzone as his passenger, then allegedly struck Guerrero with the vehicle, left the accident scene and proceeded to steal gas from a gas station. After stealing the gas, police said, Moriszan “collided with another vehicle” as he drove away. He then allegedly carjacked a 2005 Toyota Camry from a Commack resident.
Morizsan was arrested on three open warrants for Violation of Probation and Petit Larceny, and was also charged with: third-degree grand larceny; assaulting a police officer; leaving the scene of an incident resulting in serious physical injury; petit larceny, leaving the scene of an incident resulting in property damage; second-degree robbery and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
The passenger, Franzone has been charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
As of Sept. 23, Guerrero “remains in critical but stable condition,” police said, in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit at Stony Brook University Hospital.
Lugo was treated at the hospital also, but was treated and released.
Guerrero, who was airlifted to the hospital “with a very serious head injury,” has been with the department since 2010, police said.
“Officer Guerrero is a very hardworking, dedicated, well-respected member of police department,” Commissioner Edward Webber said in a press release. “He is a true professional. Our thoughts are with him and his family and we pray for his full recovery.”
County Executive Steve Bellone extended his support as well in a statement.
“Each and every day the brave men and women of the Suffolk County Police Department risk their own wellbeing to protect the residents of this County,” he said. “It is a travesty anytime a police officer is hurt in the line of duty.”