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Passenger may have criminal defense to theft charge

There is no shortage of dangerous drivers at this time of the year in New York. It can be a busy time for criminal defense counsel as well. The Police in Suffolk allege that two officers confronted two people occupying a stolen pickup truck in a parking lot in Commack on Dec. 28 at about 12 p.m. After engaging in a chase, the police arrested the driver for the felonies of assault, reckless endangerment and grand larceny theft of vehicle. 

They also arrested the driver's passenger for grand larceny theft of the vehicle. When the officers approached the vehicle, which had a snow plow attached to its front, the driver engaged the pickup and drove toward the officers, allegedly striking one of them in the hand with the truck's snow plow. They continued forward and escaped from the parking lot.

When the truck had first approached the officers, one of them pulled his gun and fired two shots, allegedly in fear for his life. After the truck escaped, it only got a few blocks before it became disabled. The driver and passenger fled on foot but were apprehended by police a short time later. The driver, a 35-year-old man, was charged with assault due to driving the truck in a menacing manner toward the police, according to the authorities.

The man's passenger was a 32-year-old female. The police allege that she was involved in the theft of the vehicle, and hence they arrested her also on the grand larceny felonies. However, it is unknown whether the authorities have any proof to that effect, and criminal defense counsel will certainly investigate the issue thoroughly. She would have to know that the truck was stolen to be guilty of a crime under New York law. Otherwise, merely being found in a stolen vehicle would not be sufficient to convict one of stealing the vehicle or of receiving stolen property.

Source: news12.com, "Police: Duo arrested after patrol sergeant was struck by stolen truck", Dec. 30, 2017

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