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Nassau cop hit by car shoots suspect

Horse Hollow Court in Locust Valley was the

Horse Hollow Court in Locust Valley was the scene of a shooting late Monday night. It also was not clear how many times the suspect was struck by gunfire -- or where he was struck. (July 2, 2013) Credit: Howard Schnapp

A 22-year-old drug suspect was shot and wounded by a Nassau County police officer Monday night after the officer was struck by the man's car during a traffic stop in Lattingtown, police said Tuesday.

Leo Duchnowski, of 17 Pine Dr., Oyster Bay, was shot by an officer who, police said, was "in fear for his life" after being knocked to the ground by Duchnowski's car.

The suspect was hospitalized and is in stable condition, police said. The officer, who was not identified, was treated at a hospital and released, police said.

Duchnowski was charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, criminal sale of a controlled substance and multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

The incident began when officers stopped Duchnowski's vehicle on Horse Hollow Road, near Locust Valley High School, at about 10:10 p.m. Monday, police said. As the officer approached Duchnowski's vehicle by foot, he was struck "in the knee" by the car as Duchnowski "maneuvered the vehicle in an attempt to flee," police said.

With the officer on the ground, Duchnowski placed the vehicle in reverse "putting the injured officer in fear for his safety," police said, and "forcing him to fire his service weapon" in order to stop him.

No information was released as to the number of shots fired or how many struck Duchnowski.

Police did not explain in detail the circumstances leading to the initial traffic stop.

The officer involved is a member of the Bureau of Special Operations Criminal Intelligence Rapid Response Team, police said, and was conducting a drug investigation in the area.

Duchnowski is on parole for a drug-related conviction, police said, and has numerous other prior arrests.

He is to be arraigned on the charges at a later date after he has recovered sufficiently from his injuries, police said.

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