DA SINI: MAN INDICTED FOR ALLEGEDLY INJURING POLICE OFFICER IN HIT-AND-RUN, LEAVING SCENE OF SECOND MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH THE NEXT DAY
(CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini today announced the indictment of a Medford man for allegedly injuring a Suffolk County police officer in a hit-and-run crash on March 8 then fleeing the scene of a motor vehicle crash on March 9.
“Our message to offenders is that if you commit a crime in Suffolk County, you can run but you can’t hide,” District Attorney Sini said. “This individual attempted to evade law enforcement not once but twice in the span of two days, injuring a police officer in the process. Thanks to the great work of the Suffolk County Police Department, he was apprehended and held responsible for the damage he caused.”
Jaheem Funderburke, 17, of Medford, is charged with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a B felony; two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, a C felony; Assault in the Second Degree, a D violent felony; Unlawful Fleeing of a Police Officer in the Third Degree, an A misdemeanor; two counts of Leaving the Scene of an Incident Without Reporting, an A misdemeanor; Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree, an A misdemeanor; and Reckless Driving, an unclassified misdemeanor.
At approximately 11:15 p.m. on March 8, Suffolk County police officers were responding to a 911 call about a suspicious vehicle near 147 Peterson Street in Brentwood. A responding officer approached the vehicle and asked the driver for identification. The driver put the vehicle in reverse before accelerating forward, striking the police officer in the hip and causing him to fall to the ground. The officer sustained several physical injuries.
The motorist continued to drive in a reckless manner, reaching speeds of over 100 mph, and was last seen heading northbound on Route 111. Police terminated the pursuit and the suspect was not apprehended.
At approximately 6:45 p.m. on March 9, Suffolk County Sixth Precinct officers responded to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Gordon Road and Granny Road in Medford. Funderburke was driving a 2018 Mazda 6 northbound on Gordon Road when his vehicle struck a 2001 Nissan, driven by a 42-year-old Medford woman. The woman suffered minor injuries.
Funderburke and two passengers in the Mazda allegedly fled the scene on foot and were apprehended at approximately 7:15 p.m. by Suffolk County Police Canine Section officers in a wooded area south of Dourland Road. Funderburke was allegedly found in possession, on his person and in his vehicle, of various quantities of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.
An investigation revealed that Funderburke was also the driver who allegedly struck a police officer and fled the scene on March 8.
Funderburke was arraigned on the indictment today by Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice C. Randall Hinrichs. Bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond. He is due back in court on May 30.
If convicted, Funderburke faces a maximum sentence of up to 16 years in prison.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Raymond Varuolo, of the Vehicular Crime Bureau.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.