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State trooper dragged by driver after texting stop, state cops say

New York State Police investigate an accident in

New York State Police investigate an accident in which a state trooper was dragged across the Southern State Parkway near Exit 19, Peninsula Boulevard, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Queens man stopped by police for texting while driving took off with a state trooper hanging onto the car, dragging him across all three lanes of the eastbound Southern State Parkway in Lakeview Wednesday afternoon, State Police said.

With the trooper halfway in the vehicle, the Honda driven by Kyheem J. Kelly, 29, crashed into the concrete median, dislodging the officer and giving him a cut to his head, said Investigator Brad Molloy of the State Police in the Valley Stream office.

Kelly ran, but he was chased down by the trooper and two passing drivers, who got out of their vehicles after seeing what happened, police said.

Kelly, a Jamaica resident, was held for arraignment Thursday on several felony and misdemeanor charges: aggravated assault upon a police officer, second-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.

The trooper received stitches at the hospital and his injuries are not considered life-threatening, the investigator said.

He had stopped Kelly about 3 p.m. just west of Exit 19, Peninsula Boulevard, after seeing him drive and text on his cellphone, officials said.

Kelly had a suspended license and his insurance had lapsed about five months ago, which then negated his vehicle registration, police said.

The trooper was going to impound the Honda and reached in to try to take the keys, Molloy said.

“A struggle ensued inside the vehicle, and the driver of the car took off as the trooper was hanging onto it,” Molloy said.

It was not immediately clear how far the trooper was dragged, the investigator said, but it was a “good distance.”

Kelly did not apologize to the trooper, police said. “Afterwards he did, to me,” Molloy said, “but that’s too late.”

The eastbound parkway was shut down as investigators and the police crash reconstruction unit gathered information. The roadway reopened at 5:45 p.m.

Police ask witnesses to contact them at 631-756-3300.

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