Cabbie was 'doing my job' before cops shot

Thomas Moroughan, 26, is led to his arraignment

Thomas Moroughan, 26, is led to his arraignment in Central Islip Criminal Court on charges of reckless endangerment after police said he struck two off-duty Nassau County police officers with his taxi in Huntington Station on Sunday. (Feb. 28, 2011) (Credit: James Carbone)

The cabbie shot by an off-duty Nassau cop last weekend said Friday that he was "doing my job" before a roadside argument escalated into gunfire.

"I didn't do anything to deserve to be shot, pistol-whipped, beat up and then arrested," said Thomas Moroughan, 26, outside a Central Islip courtroom.

The Huntington Station man has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting a police officer and reckless endangerment.

Moroughan's lawyer has described his client as a victim recklessly shot as he tried to escape two intoxicated men.

Attorney William Petrillo said in court Friday that medical records exist that indicate the cops were drunk and urged the Suffolk district attorney's office to release the documents quickly.

"I believe [prosecutors] are in possession of records that do show the officer was intoxicated," he said in court.

Petrillo declined to describe the medical records or say how they established the officers were drunk.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Turk said he was not part of the conversation Petrillo said he had with the district attorney's homicide bureau regarding records. A Suffolk district attorney spokesman did not respond to questions Friday about the existence of medical records or witness statements regarding alcohol.

Anthony DiLeonardo, the Nassau officer who police say fired the gun, has told Suffolk investigators Moroughan was the instigator for pulling over and yelling before driving at him.

Nassau PBA president James Carver said the officers, both of whom were accompanied by women at the time of the shooting, called 911 and remained at the scene. He said he had no information about where the officers were before the shooting.

"Any allegation of any alcohol is intended as a distraction from the defendant's actions," he said.

The altercation unfolded, Suffolk police said, at 1:15 a.m. Sunday as DiLeonardo and another off-duty Third Precinct officer pulled over in separate vehicles on Huntington's Oakwood Road.

Moroughan, with his girlfriend in the car, also pulled over. DiLeonardo later said he got out of his car after Moroughan yelled at him and began to exit his cab. Moroughan then backed up and drove at him, DiLeonardo said.

The officer fired through the windshield with his personal weapon, striking Moroughan in the chest and left arm, police said. Identifying himself as police, DiLeonardo said he tried to subdue Moroughan, losing his gun in the cab in a struggle.

As Moroughan pulled away, the cab struck the second officer, police said, knocking him down. That officer suffered a laceration requiring stitches. Moroughan drove himself to Huntington Hospital and his girlfriend called 911, Petrillo said. Suffolk police found DiLeonardo's gun in the taxi at the hospital.

Moroughan is due back in court April 13.

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