A Freeport man who authorities said stole a car at gunpoint last year, then rammed a police vehicle in an attempt to get away when cornered in an elementary school parking lot, pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree robbery and second-degree assault, Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement.
Rice said Remick Menjivar, 19, of 102 Washburn Ave., pleaded guilty in exchange for a promised 14-year sentence from Judge William Donnino. Menjivar is scheduled to be sentenced March 15.
Around midday last March, police said the theft unfolded when Menjivar and Edwin Flores parked a Toyota and walked across the street and approached Chris Verde, who was working on his 2006 Infiniti G35 in the garage outside his home in Hicksville.
Verde's mother, Geralyn, and police said at the time the men asked for directions to the Northern State Parkway. As her son answered, she said, they "put a gun in his face and took his keys and car."
Rice said it was Menjivar who pulled out a black, 9-millimeter Republic Arms semiautomatic handgun and "demanded the victim's keys, wallet and cellphone."
Menjivar drove off in the Infiniti, followed by Flores in the Toyota.
Soon, Nassau County police were on the men's trail. They located the stolen Infiniti and attempted to pull Menjivar over, Rice said. Menjivar then pulled into the parking lot of Fayette Elementary School on Merrick Avenue in North Merrick in an attempt to evade police.
Cornered, Menjivar accelerated at an approaching police car and crashed head-on into it, leaving one officer with a serious head injury, Rice said. Menjivar, who had attempted to flee, was immediately captured.
Though school was in session at the time -- with children playing in the athletic field beyond the parking lot and some in classes -- no school personnel or children were injured, school officials said at the time.
"A violent criminal with his back against the wall is a very dangerous thing, especially one armed with a firearm and stolen vehicle," Rice said in her statement Friday.
Flores was later located and arrested in Freeport. The Toyota he had been driving was stolen during a carjacking in Bellerose, Rice said. He pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery last month and is awaiting sentencing.