Suffolk County Police arrested four people on weapons charges following a motor vehicle crash from which they were rescued by police officers in Dix Hills on Aug. 18.
First Precinct Officers Shawn Arigoni and Michael Renna were on patrol when they observed a 2018 BMW speeding and swerving on Route 231 near Commack Road. The officers turned on their overhead lights and attempted to pull over the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle failed to pull over and the officers turned off their lights and discontinued the traffic stop attempt.
A short time later, the driver of the BMW, Eric Johnson, lost control of the vehicle on northbound Commack Road, just north of Burlington Avenue, and the vehicle crossed over the southbound lane, struck a tree, and overturned at 12:53 a.m.
Officers Arigoni and Renna then came upon the vehicle, which had caught fire due to the crash. Officers Arigoni and Renna, along with Police Officers Thomas Engelhardt and Ryan Carroll, pulled the driver and his three passengers from the vehicle. A fanny pack containing a loaded .40 caliber handgun was located inside the vehicle. All four were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip.
First Squad detectives charged Johnson, 22, of Medford, with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd Degree, Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Criminal Contempt 2nd Degree and was issued multiple traffic violations.
Passengers Magaly Espinal, 21, of Central Islip, Tazjan Derritt, 26, of Amityville, and Janell Funderburke, 19, Coram, were charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd Degree and Criminal Possession of a Firearm. Funderburke was also charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 5th Degree, Criminal Possession of a Substance 7th Degree and Criminal Contempt 2nd Degree.
Johnson, Espinal and Derritt will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on August 19. Funderburke has been admitted to the hospital and will be arraigned at a later date.
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.