Hero: Officer blocks road to stop wrong-way suspected DUI driver who had already lost license

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WAUCONDA, IL – A Wauconda Police officer literally put himself in harm’s way earlier in September in an effort to stop a wrong-way driver who was also reportedly drunk behind the wheel, fearing the suspect may seriously hurt or kill other drivers on the road.

Dashcam video showed the moments when the driver collided with the officer’s strategically staged squad car, giving the officer an opportunity to stop the wrong-way driver.

The incident happened on September 5th at approximately 1:30 a.m., after Officer Jon Finze responded to the call on Route 176 and attempted to get the wrong-way driver to stop his vehicle.

Officer Finze activated his lights and sirens in an effort to get the driver, identified as 46-year-old Anthony Smith, to pull over – however, those attempts were unsuccessful.

Reports allege that Smith had been driving down the wrong way of the street for roughly five miles before Officer Finze caught up with him.

When that failed, Officer Finze opted for another approach – where he drove ahead of the suspect and placed his vehicle in a manner that slightly protruded past the median into the pathway of the wrong-way driver.

Just as expected, within seconds, the driver clipped the front of the patrol vehicle. Video shows Officer Finze then running over to the vehicle, which reports note that Smith did attempt to flee the scene after the accident.

Despite being inside of the patrol vehicle during the collision, Officer Finze only suffered minor injuries from the impact. His K9, Badger, that was inside of the patrol vehicle was also evaluated after the incident.

Apparently, Smith wasn’t supposed to be behind the wheel at all during the early morning collision, as his license was revoked from several past DUI convictions. At the time of his September 5th arrest, officials say his blood alcohol level was over 0.16 – twice the legal limit.

Police Chief David Wermes, expressing frustrations over the suspect, stated the following regarding the incident:

“This is his fourth DUI, and my first thought was, ‘why was this person on the road to begin with?’”

Chief Wermes stressed that stiffer penalties need to be considered when it comes to multiple DUI offenders so as to avoid potential incidents, as the collision could’ve turned out far worse for the officer or another motorist had Smith gone unnoticed.

Smith is facing numerous charges related to the incident, including DUI, and is being held in custody at the Lake County Jail on $75,000 bail. His next scheduled court appearance is on September 10th.

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Video: NYPD searching for rioter who doused NYPD vehicle in gasoline while officers were inside of it

(Originally published September 6th, 2021)

NEW YORK CITY, NY – Police in New York City are searching for the suspect who was caught on video dousing an NYPD vehicle with gasoline during a riot earlier in September, while officers were actively inside of the police van.

According to reports, the riot stemmed over community outrage regarding an officer-involved shooting that occurred in late-August.

Officials say the riot occurred during the evening of September 3rd nearby the NYPD 46th Precinct. A group of protesters turned violent at approximately 10:30 p.m., which video shows the rioters trying to push the barriers outside of the precinct into the officers stationed outside.

Later on in the released video, bodycam footage from inside a police van shows an unidentified suspect pouring gasoline all over the police vehicle. The suspect is still at-large, according to officials, and police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the individual.

The protest-turned-riot was inspired by the August 29th officer-involved shooting of 24-year-old Mike Rosado, who was fatally shot by off-duty officers after getting into a shootout with the officers.

Reports indicate that on August 29th, Mike and his 44-year-old father Rafael Rosado had gotten into a fight with a group of individuals in the area of East 180th Street and Valentine Avenue at approximately 4:00 a.m., where Mike reportedly drew a firearm on the group after a bottle was thrown.

Mike allegedly fired roughly 10 shots at the group of people, which two off-duty NYPD officers heard the gunfire and saw Mike with the weapon and ordered him to drop the gun. Instead of complying, police say that Mike redirected his gunfire at the off-duty officers who then reasonably returned fire at the suspect.

The suspect was struck in the chest and later died after being transported to St. Barnabas Hospital. Moments after the officers shooting Mike, the suspect’s father reportedly picked up the firearm his son was using and started to shoot at the same two officers.

Rafael then handed the firearm to a woman and took off running after firing an undetermined number of rounds at the officers – luckily striking neither of them.

Police were able to catch up with and arrest Rafael under charges of attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal use of a firearm, and reckless endangerment.

Apparently, Rafael Rosado has a long rap sheet with over 60 arrests in his lifetime and having been previously convicted of assaulting a police officer from a 2010 incident where he dragged an officer who attempted to pull him over.

The mother of the deceased suspect, Marta Negron, proclaims that her son was unjustly shot by police, accusing the officers shooting her son “ruthlessly” and that he was killed while having his hands up.

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NYPD officers suspended after “doing nothing” after guy shot himself – but they thought it was fireworks

(Originally published August 29th, 2021)

NEW YORK CITY, NY – Four NYPD officers have been suspended, according to reports, for allegedly doing nothing after a man accidentally shot himself among a group of other people earlier in August – seemingly in full view of officers feet away.

Apparently, officials also say that the officers present during the accidental shooting also reported the incident as being fireworks-related.

The incident happened on August 23rd at approximately 9:00 p.m. in the area of West 136th Street and 7th Avenue.

Surveillance video from the incident show a group of individuals on the sidewalk huddled around each other, when a sudden flash goes off and the individuals scatter, and one man can be seen limping away.

The New York Post reported that the men seen in the video were “gambling and drinking” prior to the accidental discharge, and that the injured male wound up leaving the firearm behind before limping away.

While difficult to see at first glance, two sets of feet can be seen leaning against a wall mere feet away from where the incident occurred.

It turns out those feet belonged to two uniformed officers that were among a total of four stationed in the in the area as part of a “violence reduction” effort.

Parked on the street right next to where the incident happened was an NYPD patrol vehicle.

Approximately 30 seconds after the accidental shooting, one of the uniformed officers walks away from the wall that he was leaning against and peeks around the corner, and about a minute later the other officer as well as that first one approached the NYPD patrol vehicle that was parked on the street.

Reports also note that the four officers stationed at the area of the incident did not secure the firearm that was dropped on the sidewalk.

The officers who were on-scene reportedly called the incident in as being fireworks, but additional units wound up responding after 911 calls came in reporting the incident as gunfire.

NYPD officials have stated that bodycam has been reviewed in the incident and, when asked by investigators, two of the officers swore that they believed the incident to be fireworks-related and were oblivious to a man having accidentally shot himself.

It’s unclear as of this writing whether the two officers who attested the aforementioned were the officers on the sidewalk or inside of the nearby patrol vehicle. However, the four officers have since been suspended without pay while an investigation is conducted.

As for the man who reportedly shot himself, he was later identified as 32-year-old Xavier Shaw. He checked himself into Harlem Hospital after the incident and was later arrested for criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case.

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