Suffolk officer testifies against driver accused of dragging him

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RIVERHEAD -

A Suffolk police officer took the stand Tuesday to testify against the Holtville man accused of dragging him during a traffic stop.

Officer Gregory Sandbichler told the jury that in January 2017, he pulled over Michael Shear, of Patchogue. He said the defendant's breath smelled of alcohol, his eyes were glassy and he had a "thousand-mile stare."

The officer said he was unresponsive to any and all questions.

"He looked at me and said, ‘I'm sorry officer, I can't do this right now,'" said Officer Sandbichler.

MORE: Charges upgraded for man shot after allegedly dragging officer

The jury then watched surveillance video of the incident, where Officer Sandbichler claimed his arm was caught in Shear’s vehicle. When he stepped on the gas, the officer was dragged along with him.

Sandbichler testified that he eventually got his arm free, returned to his vehicle and called for backup. He says he ultimately got out in front of Shear, who then rear-ended his vehicle. At that next encounter, the officer said Shear “was holding what appeared to be a gun, he already tried to kill me once...I thought this was going to be his last stand." 

That is when Officer Sandbichler says he repeatedly yelled at Shear to put his hands up. When he refused, the officer says he shot him in the shoulder.

Defense attorney Steven Politi hasn't had his chance to cross-examine Officer Sandbichler, but says his testimony thus far doesn't add up.

The trial resumes Wednesday morning.

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