Wait is over: '71 Stony Brook cop shooter sentenced

More than three decades after shooting a Stony Brook University police officer, Frank Nelson was sentenced Tuesday to one to three years in prison for the crime. Officer Charles Cali remembers patrolling

News 12 Staff

Apr 10, 2007, 11:47 PM

Updated 6,314 days ago

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More than three decades after shooting a Stony Brook University police officer, Frank Nelson was sentenced Tuesday to one to three years in prison for the crime.
Officer Charles Cali remembers patrolling the campus that night, Christmas Eve 1971.
"It happened in seconds - two seconds," Cali recalled. "I stepped out of the patrol car. He was five or six feet away from me - pulled out a gun."
After the shot, authorities said Nelson went on the run and changed his name repeatedly. Officials said Nelson moved state to state, applied for a new Social Security number under the name Farouk Abdullah Ali and a new passport using the name Abdullah Ali. U.S. Marshals caught up with Nelson in South Carolina, where he had tried to apply for Social Security benefits with his original number.
Frank Nelson's brother, Ray, said the convicted felon switched his name because he is a Muslim convert, not to hide.
"Knowing my brother then and now, it just doesn't seem like he would just walk up and see a uniform and pull the trigger," Ray Nelson said.
For Officer Cali, though, the sentencing puts an end to a long wait.
"It feels good, it's closure," Cali said. "Justice prevailed."
The Christmas Eve shooting was influential in the decision to allow Stony Brook police to carry firearms.


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