2 Nassau cops struck by alleged drunken drivers in 2-day span

Two suspected drunken drivers struck Nassau police officers with their cars over the weekend. Danielle Rella, who works with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, says the

A Nassau County police officer is seen on patrol. Two suspected drunken drivers struck Nassau police officers with their cars over the weekend.

A Nassau County police officer is seen on patrol. Two suspected drunken drivers struck Nassau police officers with their cars over the weekend. (9/23/13)

HEMPSTEAD - Two suspected drunken drivers struck Nassau police officers with their cars over the weekend.

Prosecutors say 22-year-old Jose Martinez, of Elmont, had a blood alcohol content that was three times the legal limit when he hit a marked police cruiser on the site of Hempstead Turnpike early Sunday morning. According to police, an officer and a suspect were inside the cruiser at the time.

Martinez is facing several charges, including driving while intoxicated and reckless endangerment.

Just one day earlier, another Nassau officer was struck about a mile away on Nassau Boulevard. In that incident, 27-year-old Joseph Garcia was allegedly drunk behind the wheel when he hit the back of a marked police cruiser.

Danielle Rella, who works with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, says the incidents should be a wake-up call. "Drunk drivers are often attracted to the lights, so that only adds to it," Rella says. "It makes them targets."

Rella's brother, officer Kenny Baribault, sustained serious injuries when he was struck on the side of the LIE back in 2008 as he pulled over another DWI suspect.

Rella says there should be stiffer penalties for drivers who are intoxicated when they injure another person, especially police officers. "They are the ones trying to keep us safe, and they end up getting hit, or hurt, or God forbid killed. It needs to stop."

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

The footage was shared online by Thomas Marrone, 1 Video appears to show abuse inside NYDogWorks in Oceanside
Executive director of the Maritime Museum Terry Blipman 2 LI Maritime Museum hosts Dutch Christmas Festival
Police say James Burke, 76, veered off the 3 Police: Medical event led to fatal crash in Huntington Station
Empire State Development Corp. canceled its 4-year-old request 4 Plans for Belmont Park soccer stadium nixed by state
Angela Conte-Gentille says she remembers growing up in 5 Facebook post fuels push for East Meadow Ave. decorations

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Need help this holiday season? We've got you Holiday Help Series

Need a gift idea? Perhaps you need a fun idea to do with the kids?

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE