Man admits to attempted murder of officer

Police investigate the crime scene on the Meadowbrook Police investigate the crime scene on the Meadowbrook Parkway, where a suspect fired several shots at Nassau police officers during a chase that police said ended when the driver of a getaway car crashed into vehicles involved in an earlier fatal accident. (Nov. 8, 2011) Photo Credit: Stringer News Service

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A Queens man pleaded guilty Tuesday to the attempted murder of a police officer during a high-speed chase that began in Hempstead and ended in a crash on the Meadowbrook State Parkway last year.

Damon Banner, 26, of St. Albans, pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder in exchange for a sentence of 16 years by Nassau County Judge John Kase. He will be sentenced Aug. 8.

Banner's lawyer, Glenn Hardy of Garden City, said, "In light of the evidence and the charged crimes, this was a fair and satisfactory result for my client."

Prosecutors said that on Nov. 7, two Nassau officers in an unmarked car noticed Banner approaching a man from behind on Westbury Boulevard in Hempstead. Banner saw the officers and walked away; as they pursued him, he reached for his waistband and ran, prosecutors said.

Banner got into a waiting vehicle driven by Ayanna Zellner, 29, of Freeport, and while police gave chase, he fired about four shots that missed the pursuing officers' car, prosecutors said.

Zellner drove onto the Meadowbrook State Parkway though it was closed for a fatal car accident, prosecutors said. Zellner crashed into the cars involved, then the center median, prosecutors said. They were arrested. Zellner's case is pending.

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