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Middle Island man sentenced for opening fire on Suffolk police officer, DA says

A Suffolk County judge sentenced a Middle Island man who opened fire on a police officer after fleeing from a car crash to 11 years in prison Tuesday.

Leroy Jones, 28, pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon on Oct. 27, officials said.

"Mr. Jones showed no regard whatsoever for the lives or safety of others, first by fleeing the scene of the crash and then by wantonly shooting at a police officer," Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini said. "Today’s sentencing holds him accountable for putting those lives at risk and posing a danger to our community."

Jones was driving a 2020 Volvo sedan south on Wellington Road in Middle Island on Dec. 23, 2019, when he struck the passenger side of a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder traveling west on Middle Country Road, according to officials.

Jones fled on foot after a Suffolk County police officer in a marked vehicle responded. The officer ran after Jones, who then fired a handgun at the officer. The officer, who was not hit, returned fire and continued the pursuit, officials said.

"Police officers put on their uniform at the start of every tour never knowing what type of danger they face," Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. "No call is routine. What started as a motor vehicle crash turned into a life-threatening situation."

Jones was arrested on Jan. 5 following an investigation. Jones' attorney, Glenn Obedin of Central Islip, did not return a call for comment.

"The men and women of the Suffolk County Police Department put their lives on the line every day for the safety and security of our residents," said Noel DiGerolamo, president of the Suffolk Police Benevolent Association. "Any attempt to harm a police officer in the line of duty must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

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