A Northport man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to running down two Suffolk County police officers last year and critically injuring one of them.
Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota said that Chad Morizsan, who was sentenced on Thursday, July 23, waived his right to appeal and pleaded guilty to assault in the first degree, assault on a police officer, leaving the scene, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, robbery in the second degree and forgery.
Last September, Morizsan sped off in a stolen SUV after being pulled over by officers Nicholas Guerrero and Heriberto Lugo at a traffic stop. He struck both officers as he fled the scene, critically injuring Guerrero.
Bob Clifford, a spokesman for Spota, said Guerrero was in the courtroom at Morizsan’s sentencing.
Guerrero was hospitalized for more than three weeks with a severe head injury at Stony Brook University Hospital. He underwent surgery and a regimen of physical therapy during his recovery.
He has been with the police department for four years. His partner, Lugo, was treated and released.
Once Morizsan fled the scene, along with his co-defendant and passenger Nicholas Franzone of Northport, police said they carjacked a Ford Explorer, stole the credit cards of the 87-year-old owner of the Explorer in her Commack driveway and stole gas from a gas station in the area.
The two were arrested at a Central Islip store hours later when police said they attempted to purchase a television with the woman’s stolen credit card.
Attorney Ian Fitzgerald, who is representing Franzone, has said that Franzone had nothing to do with the hit-and-run.
“He was in the back seat of the car,” Fitzgerald said in a previous interview. “He had nothing to do with Mr. Morizsan fleeing and injuring the officer … he had no control over the vehicle.”
Franzone is set to return to court on Aug. 4, charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle for his alleged role in the carjacking incident, police said.
Daniel Guttmann, who is listed in online court records as Morizsan’s attorney, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment on Tuesday.