FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 17, 2018
Teen Convicted of First-Degree Assault for Seriously Injuring
Police Officer by Intentionally Dragging Him with a Vehicle
Sped off in Stolen Car as NYPD Officer Hung on
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brooklyn teenager has been convicted of first-degree assault in connection with an incident that left New York City Police Officer Dalsh Veve with severe traumatic brain injury. The defendant sped away in a car he had stolen after the officer approached and then, at a high rate of speed, weaved the vehicle to cause the officer, who was attempting to hang on, to be thrown off and suffer catastrophic head trauma.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Officer Veve put his life on the line for the people of Brooklyn when he responded to calls of shots fired. This defendant then callously dragged Officer Veve, at a high rate of speed, for several blocks, showing an appalling and intentional disregard for human life. Officer Veve suffered catastrophic injuries from which he will never recover. This defendant has now been convicted and faces the maximum when he is sentenced.”
The District Attorney today identified the defendant as Justin Murrell, 17, of Brownsville, Brooklyn. He was convicted of first-degree assault following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Ruth Shillingford. The defendant will be sentenced on January 7, 2019, at which time he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison as a juvenile offender because he was less than 16 years old at the time of the incident.
The District Attorney said that on June 3, 2017, officers from the 67th Precinct responded to the corner of Tilden Avenue and East 53rd Street in East Flatbush to investigate a report of shots fired. Officer Dalsh Veve, 36, approached a black Honda Civic that was idling on the street with the defendant in the driver’s seat and three other passengers in the car, according to trial testimony.
When Officer Veve attempted to speak to the driver, the defendant fled with the officer holding onto the car. The evidence showed that the defendant drove up to 58 miles per hour while swerving the vehicle for several blocks. The Officer was able to discharge his weapon twice, striking the defendant once in the jaw, and was then flung from the vehicle. He suffered severe neurological injuries and was hospitalized and underwent extensive rehabilitation for nearly a year. He is now completely dependent on 24 hour a day care.
The defendant crashed the car and he and the three occupants of the Honda – which had been stolen from Nassau County – fled on foot, according to the evidence. The defendant walked 20 blocks to Kings County Hospital but left after seeing police officers there. He ditched his bloody clothes, then took a car service to Brookdale Hospital, where he was admitted. He did not suffer any permanent damage.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Melissa Carvajal, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, and Executive Assistant District Attorney Joseph P. Alexis, Chief of the Trial Division.