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Middle Island man pleads guilty to shooting at Suffolk police officer

A Middle Island man pleaded guilty Tuesday to shooting at a Suffolk County police officer while fleeing the scene of a crash in December, prosecutors said.

Leroy Jones, 28, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon, a class C violent felony.

As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Jones is expected to be sentenced by Suffolk County Court Judge Timothy Mazzei to 11 years in prison, with five years of post-release supervision, when he returns to court on Dec. 1.

"This is a stark reminder that police officers put their lives on the line every single day, even when responding to a seemingly routine traffic incident," said Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini. "Today’s disposition ensures that the defendant faces a significant prison sentence for endangering the life of a police officer and showing a complete disregard for the law and the safety of others."

Jones' defense attorney, Glenn Obedin of Central Islip, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Authorities said Jones was driving a 2020 Volvo sedan southbound on Middle Country Road in Middle Island on Dec. 23 when he struck the side of a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder traveling westbound.

A police officer in a marked vehicle responded to the crash but Jones fled on foot, prosecutors said. Jones then fired his handgun at the officer who was in pursuit. The officer, who was not hit, returned fire and continued the pursuit.

Jones was arrested by detectives on Jan. 5.

"Police officers put their lives at risk each day to provide assistance and safety to members of the public," said Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart. "This case serves as a reminder of the dangers those who wear a uniform face and I applaud the District Attorney’s Office for ensuring Leroy Jones pays for his crime."

Two women involved in the crash — the driver of the Pathfinder and a passenger — were taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

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