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Police: Cop shoots at stolen SUV that strikes his cruiser

The Spartan Diner at the corner of Route

The Spartan Diner at the corner of Route 110 and Conklin Street in Farmingdale, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. Homicide Squad detectives are investigating a police-involved shooting that occurred on Feb. 14, 2014 in the diner's parking lot. Credit: Steve Pfost

A Nassau County police officer fired at a stolen sport utility vehicle after it struck his marked car in Farmingdale and drove off, police said Saturday.

The officer spotted the SUV Friday night in the parking lot of the Spartan Diner on Broad Hollow Road and Conklin Street, police said.

When the officer opened his door and was about to step out, the white 2008 Toyota Highlander suddenly drove toward him, according to police.

The Toyota, with three or four people inside, hit the police car's open door, and the officer fired a single shot as the SUV sped away, police said.

No injuries were reported. Police said Saturday night that no arrests had been made.

Officers spotted the SUV shortly after 9 p.m. -- minutes after its owner reported it stolen outside the Lotus Chinese and Japanese restaurant on Conklin Street.

A restaurant employee, who asked not to be identified, said the theft victim was a customer who came in to pick up a takeout order.

She left with the food and then rushed back in, saying, "I think my car has been stolen," according to the employee, who said the restaurant called 911.

A police spokeswoman said the Toyota had been left running with keys in the ignition when it was stolen.

Mo Khan, 23, night cashier at the Gulf gas station across the street from the diner, said the station's surveillance cameras captured the incident.

"The guy [in the SUV] sees the cop trying to block him and he whips around," Khan said.

Authorities did not provide details on any damage to the police vehicle.

Spartan Diner co-owner Peter Athanasatos recalled seeing "lots of flashing police lights outside the window" on Friday night. The investigation effectively closed his business for several hours, he said, because police blocked off Conklin Street.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS.


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