A Center Moriches man with a history of drunken driving bought “buckets of beers” at a bar before he crashed into a police car last month, a Suffolk County prosecutor said Thursday.
After the Jan. 9 crash on Sunrise Highway in Brookhaven, officers found a receipt on Carlos Morocho, 27, for four buckets of six beers each, Assistant District Attorney Shaun McCready said in a Central Islip courtroom.
Prosecutors said police also recovered a six-pack of empty beer bottles from the 2003 Ford van Morocho was driving.
In an indictment unsealed Thursday, Morocho is charged with felony DWI, first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, second-degree criminal impersonation, third-degree assault, driving without an ignition interlock device and leaving an accident scene.
Morocho’s attorney, Norley E. Castañeda of Central Islip, entered a not guilty plea for his client. State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho set bail at $150,000 cash or $300,000 bond.
Prosecutors said Morocho and a friend were drinking at a Speonk bar the night of the crash. After dropping the friend off, Morocho rear-ended the cruiser, which had stopped for a car fire, at about 4 a.m. and fled the scene. He was arrested a short time later and gave officers a false ID, authorities said.
The officer in the cruiser suffered scrapes, bruises and a minor concussion, McCready said.
Morocho faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of the top charge. He was previously convicted of felony DWI in 2012, records show.