Robert McDowell of Bohemia, 31, is in custody on multiple charges, officials report.
Suffolk County Police arrested a man after he intentionally struck two police officers during a traffic stop in Ridge.
Robert McDowell was driving a 2002 Ford van southbound on Smith Road when Seventh Precinct Gang Unit Officers Sgt. Patrick Kelly and Police Officer Brian Klammer initiated a traffic stop near Strathmore Ridge Drive. The officers were in plain clothes in an unmarked vehicle.
During the traffic stop, the officers discovered McDowell was driving with a suspended license. When McDowell was asked to step out of the vehicle, he refused. He put the van in drive and accelerated while Officer Klammer was on the driver’s side and Sgt. Kelly was on the passenger’s side of the vehicle, causing injuries to Officer Klammer’s hand, knee, and lower leg. Sgt. Kelly suffered injuries to his hand, wrist, and knee.
Despite their injuries, both officers pursued the fleeing vehicle and observed him throwing suspected contraband out the window during the pursuit. The van continued southbound on William Floyd Parkway and was stopped south of Yaphank Commons Drive with the assistance of several other units. McDowell remained combative and had to be removed from the vehicle, subdued, and arrested. Canine Section officers recovered contraband on the side of the road.
Sgt. Kelly and Officer Klammer were transported to Stony Brook University Hospital via police vehicle. They were treated for their injuries and released. McDowell was transported to Long Island Community Hospital in East Patchogue where he was treated for minor abrasions and contusions and released for processing.
McDowell, 31, of Bohemia, was charged with two counts of Assault 2nd Degree, Tampering with Physical Evidence (a felony), Criminal Impersonation (a misdemeanor), Resisting Arrest, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 2nd Degree, and Operating a Motor Vehicle Without an Interlock Device. He also had three outstanding misdemeanor warrants.
McDowell was held overnight at the Seventh Precinct and was arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip.
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.