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Police: Officer injured trying to stop speeding SUV in East Hills

A Nassau County police officer was injured when

A Nassau County police officer was injured when a speeding sport utility vehicle she was trying to stop in East Hills early Friday struck a tree and a branch from the tree fell on her police cruiser, police said.   Credit: Jim Staubitser

A Nassau County police officer sustained multiple injuries while attempting to conduct a traffic stop in East Hills of a speeding sport utility vehicle Friday afternoon that cops later learned was stolen, officials said.

The incident occurred about 4:10 a.m. when a patrol officer saw a newer model Jeep Cherokee and 2016 Lincoln Navigator speeding on Glen Cove Road while traveling southbound.

The officer turned on her cruiser’s emergency lights and attempted to pull the speeding vehicles over, police said. The drivers of the two vehicles, however, didn’t stop, and continued southbound.

Police said the Navigator’s driver hit the brakes abruptly to avoid hitting a tractor trailer. The Navigator’s driver also tried to strike the officer’s patrol vehicle, police said. The Navigator then accelerated while attempting to go around the trailer, but lost control and the SUV then struck a utility pole, a fence and a tree, police said.

A branch of the tree fell onto the officer’s cruiser.

The officer injured her neck, left forearm, hand and collarbone. She was treated and released from a hospital, police said.

Police said the driver of the Navigator, Rodolfo Lopez, 23 of the Bronx, was arrested and found to be in possession of multiple stolen credit cards.

Police said the driver of the Cherokee continued southbound on Glen Cove Road.

Police said the Navigator was stolen from Old Brookville.

Lopez faces multiple charges including: second-degree assault, seven counts of fourth-degree criminal stolen possession of stolen property, first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree obstructing governmental administration, third-degree unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and multiple driving infractions, police said.

Lopez, who was hospitalized with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, will be arraigned when it’s medically practical, police said.

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