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George Towns, shot during struggle with Nassau police, sentenced to 11 years in prison in assault on detective, DA says

An Inwood man who was shot three times in a struggle with police was sentenced Tuesday to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to assaulting a police detective who was following up reports about shots fired, the Nassau district attorney's office said.

George Towns, 30, also was sentenced to 5 years of post-release supervision stemming from his arrest in February 2012 after he "terrorized" the community by pointing a gun at another man, firing his gun at a party, fighting with police, escaping arrest and hiding his gun in a shed as police tried to track him down, authorities said.

He had pleaded guilty in May to 10 felony counts, including menacing a police officer, criminal possession of a weapon, tampering with physical evidence and assault. He also pleaded guilty to five misdemeanors, including resisting arrest and reckless endangerment.

"This defendant repeatedly terrorized a community with the threat of gun violence, and then threatened the lives of members of the Nassau County Police Department," District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement. "This sentence should send a strong message that those who attack the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to serve and protect all of us will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law."

On Feb. 24, 2012, Towns confronted a man and told him, "I heard you call the cops; this is my territory," prosecutors said. He then pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the other man.

Two days later, Inwood residents reported hearing gunfire about 2 a.m. from a house party on Henry Street, and witnesses told police that Towns had information on this.

Later that day, a detective and an officer from the Fourth Precinct were investigating when they approached Towns near the location of the house party.

Towns pointed his gun at them and while officers were trying to take him into custody, he held a gun to the detective's head, prosecutors said.

An officer then shot Towns three times, and he escaped to a nearby residence and hid the gun in a shed.

He was arrested a short time later, authorities said, and police found three .38 caliber shell casings in his pocket and recovered his gun from the shed the next day.

The detective was treated for a serious back injury at South Nassau Communities Hospital, where Towns was also taken to be treated for injuries, prosecutors said.

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