Trending Topics

N.Y. officer seriously injured after being dragged during traffic stop

A 19-year-old was arrested in connection with a traffic stop of a stolen vehicle that resulted in an officer being dragged


Town of Tonawanda Police Department

By Aaron Besecker
The Buffalo News, N.Y.

TONAWANDA, N.Y. —A 19-year-old man has been arrested in connection with an incident Monday night in which a Tonawanda police officer was dragged by a motorist fleeing from a traffic stop in a stolen vehicle.

Town Supervisor Joseph Emminger said Dareious Akbar was charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, aggravated assault upon a police officer and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He said Akbar pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered held without bail pending a court appearance June 5. The arrest was first reported by WIVB-TV.

Officer David Piatek was seriously injured about 8 p.m. Monday after he stopped a stolen Kia Sportage near Sheridan Parkside Drive and Pyle Court and it sped away.

Piatek, a two-year veteran of the Town of Tonawanda Police Department, was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he is listed in stable condition.

Crime Stoppers WNY had offered a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest or indictment of the persons responsible.

Auto thefts have been on the rise in the region since late last year, but especially over the first four months of 2023, according to data provided by several local police departments.

Police have said much of the surge is due to thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles thanks to a national social media trend of videos showing how to start and steal them.

It was the second time in four months that an area police officer has been seriously injured by the driver of an allegedly stolen vehicle.

Cheektowaga Police Officer Troy Blackchief was hit Feb. 6 on Union Road as police pursued two stolen vehicles out of Depew. Blackchief suffered a skull fracture and a brain injury, among other injuries.

Earlier this month, Cheektowaga police said he was continuing to make progress, recently had successful surgery at Erie County Medical Center, was undergoing rehab in Chicago and left May 4 for more rehabilitation in Texas.

A 17-year-old faces nine felony charges in that case.


(c)2023 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.)
Visit The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.) at
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.