CENTRAL ISLIP - An attorney says the wounding of a Long Island taxi driver during a dispute with off-duty police officers was "unjustified." Suffolk County police say 26-year-old Thomas Moroughan was shot in the chest and arm early yesterday morning during a dispute with two off-duty Nassau County officers in Huntington Station. Police say one of the officers opened fire when the taxi moved toward him. They say both officers were struck by the vehicle as Moroughan fled. In a deposition obtained by News 12 Long Island, Nassau officer Anthony DiLeonardo says, "I was in fear of my life. That is when I shot the defendant to stop him from hitting me." DiLeonardo says he later identified himself as an officer, but the cab accelerated, striking the two officers. However, Moroughan's attorney believes the cops may have been drinking and wonders why a field-sobriety test wasn't taken. Moroughan pleaded not guilty today to reckless endangerment and assault charges. Attorney William Petrillo says the officers were to blame. Bail was set at $2,500. The officers were treated for cuts and bruises. Neither Nassau nor Suffolk police have commented about the case.
AP wire services were used in this report.
Cops: Taxi driver shot after hitting 2 off-duty officers