Suffolk officer injured in head-on collision with stolen vehicle

Posted: Updated:
WEST BABYLON -

A man driving a stolen vehicle slammed head-on into a police car during the nor'easter Tuesday, injuring an officer on Straight Path in West Babylon, according to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

Authorities say the officer was responding to a call after the suspect, identified as Louis Mancini Jr., took a white 2013 GMC Yukon SUV from outside Frank's Deli on Little East Neck Road.

The impact left the officer with several broken bones, and rescuers had to cut him out of his patrol car, according to officials. His battered car remained mashed up against the SUV on the side of the road for hours.

Because of the weather, police say, the officer was transported by ground to Nassau University Medical Center rather than an airlift. He was being treated for serious injuries.

Acting Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron says the vehicle had been left running outside the store. He made an appeal to drivers to shut and lock their cars to prevent similar thefts.

"If you're gonna leave your car, please don't leave it running," he says. "In this particular case, because it was left running, it resulted in one of our officers being seriously injured."

Cameron says police arrested the 30-year-old Mancini, who sustained minor injuries. He faces charges of driving while ability impaired by drugs, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, grand larceny and assault.

The driver was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control and crashed, Cameron says. 

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