Injured Buffalo police officer in medically induced coma after chase crash; 16-year-old driver charged with assault

State News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Injured Buffalo police officer Jonathan Negron is in a medically induced coma at ECMC and is considered to be in critical but stable condition, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said Friday morning and sources confirmed.

Negron was injured Thursday afternoon during a car chase when the vehicle he was chasing struck a light pole, which fell and landed on the police car. Negron was knocked unconscious and treated for severe head trauma, according to Buffalo Police.

Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President John Evans said Negron, 29, has a fiancée and infant son. He is a two-year veteran of the police force.

BPD said officers were responding to a call of a vehicle with four people inside who had a gun on Crossman Avenue near Genesee Street at 12:58 p.m Thursday. An officer tried to stop the vehicle and a chase began around 1:01 p.m, eventually going through Mount Calvary Cemetery. When the vehicle exited the cemetery around 1:05 p.m. and crossed Harlem Road, it hit the light pole.

Fynn said no guns were recovered from the car and none were found on any of the suspects. Police will continue to search along the chase route.

The driver of the car was a 16-year-old from Rochester, Flynn said. His name has not been released.

The driver was arrested for Assault on a Peace Officer, Police Officer, Firefighter or Emergency Medical Services Professional, which is a Class C violent felony, and Unlawful Fleeing of a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree, which is a Class D felony. The charges carry a maximum of 15 years in prison.

“Even though it was unintended, obviously, the law says the consequences of your actions by speeding along and fleeing … [makes this] a proper charge,” Flynn said of the assault charge.

The 16-year-old driver remains in the custody of the East Ferry Detention Center until his felony hearing scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Family Court.

The three other passengers were caught but not arrested for yesterday’s incident, though Flynn said the investigation for the guns continues. One of the passengers was 15 and was arrested on an unrelated burglary charge from a week or so ago, Flynn said. The other passengers were 18.

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