A Huntington motorist who ran over a wounded man and a Nassau police officer while fleeing the parking lot of a Farmingdale hookah bar last weekend was arraigned Friday on felony assault charges, authorities said.
Eric Dori, 19, was taken into custody Thursday, a day after Nassau police released a photo of the late-model white minivan involved in the April 20 incident, seeking the public's help in identifying and locating the driver.
He was arraigned Friday in First District Court in Nassau and charged with two counts of second-degree assault, leaving the scene of an incident with serious injuries, and leaving the scene of an incident with property damage.
Nassau District Court Judge Scott Siller held Dori on $35,000 cash or $70,000 bond, court records show. He was represented by the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, which has a policy of not commenting at the arraignment stage of a case.
At a news conference Friday, Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder called Dori a "coward" whose actions left multiple people with serious injuries.
"It could have been a lot worse and tragic, but not for the fact that our officer tried to get out of the way when struck by that vehicle," Ryder said.
The chaotic scene began around 2:45 a.m. April 20 as Nassau police responded to a report of a disturbance at the Mystique Gardens hookah bar on Conklin Street, where multiple people had been slashed, Ryder said.
As officers arrived, they found a man with a slash across his face running from the scene, police said. The victim ran into a nearby municipal parking lot and collapsed, Ryder said.
As an arriving police officer was aiding the slashing victim, Dori, driving a 2003 Chevy Venture, drove through the parking lot, striking a parked black 2000 Nissan, causing it to spin and hit a woman standing nearby, police said.
The Venture then barreled forward, first striking the officer, driving him into a telephone pole, and then running over the slashing victim, Ryder said. The minivan then fled the scene, nearly striking other responding officers, Ryder said.
Dori was later identified by video surveillance, he said.
While Dori was in the hookah bar at the time of the disturbance, it not yet clear if he was involved in the slashing, Ryder said.
The officer, who suffered injuries to his leg, back and head, returned to work Thursday, Ryder said.
The slashing victim was taken to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, where he is in serious condition, Ryder said. The woman who was hit by Dori's van was also taken to a hospital, but Ryder did not provide an update on her condition.
Dori is due back in court Tuesday.
With Chau Lam