A Center Moriches man with a history of drunken driving struck a police car on Sunrise Highway in Brookhaven early Saturday, injuring an officer, authorities said.
The officer was at the scene of a car fire in the eastbound lanes when his patrol vehicle was rear-ended shortly before 4 a.m. by a 2003 Ford van, Suffolk County police said.
The van’s driver, Carlos Morocho, 27, of Center Moriches, tried to run away, but he was quickly located and arrested, police said.DataLI crime stats
The officer, a 9-year veteran, was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital. His injuries were not considered life-threatening, police said.
Morocho was charged with leaving the scene of an accident without reporting, driving while intoxicated, first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and other offenses.
He was being held overnight at the Seventh Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned Sunday at First District Court in Central Islip.
Eastbound lanes of Sunrise Highway near the William Floyd Parkway were closed for about five hours during the investigation, police said.
Morocho has prior convictions related to drunken driving, records show.
In 2009, he pleaded guilty to aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. In 2010 and 2012 he was convicted of drunken driving, and in 2014, he received jail time for operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock device.