Teen convicted of assault for dragging cop along E. Flatbush street with stolen car

Teen convicted of assault for dragging cop along E. Flatbush street with stolen car

A teen could spend a decade behind bars after a jury convicted him of dragging a police officer down an East Flatbush block with a stolen car, and permanently damaging the cop’s brain, according to the district attorney.

Jurors on Dec. 17 convicted Brownsville resident Justin Murrell, 17, of first-degree assault for speeding down several blocks while Det. Dalsh Veve clung on to the defendant’s swiped four-wheeler this past summer.

District Attorney Eric Gonzalez — whose prosecutors tried, but failed, to land an attempted-murder conviction — said Murrell’s crime showed a blatant disregard for the life of a man dedicated to protecting all Brooklynites.

“This defendant callously dragged him, at a high rate of speed, for several blocks, showing an appalling and intentional disregard for human life,” Gonzalez said. “Veve suffered catastrophic injuries from which he will never recover.”

Murrell received a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison because he was tried as a juvenile offender, since he was younger than 16-years-old at the time of the incident, according to court documents.

Veve and fellow cops from the 67th Precinct encountered the defendant on June 3, 2017, while responding to a report of shots fired at the corner of Tilden Avenue and E. 53rd Street, where the officer found Murrell in the driver’s seat of the stolen Honda Civic, which also contained three passengers, according to trial testimony.

Veve then tried to talk to Murrell, but he put pedal to metal while the cop was holding onto the car, moving at 58-miles-per hour as he swerved down several blocks, court documents read.

The detective managed to fire off two shots and punch Murrell before being flung from the vehicle, which Murrell then crashed, according to prosecutors, who said he and the three passengers subsequently fled the scene on foot.

The teen walked 20 blocks to Kings County Hospital following the incident, but left after seeing cops there, ditching his bloody clothes and taking a car service to Brookdale Hospital. He did not sustain any serious injuries, according to court documents.

Veve, however, suffered severe brain damage, and underwent rehabilitation for almost a year, according to the district attorney, who said he is now dependent on 24-hour care.

In October, hundreds of Boys in Blue honored the Veve for his heroic service, Police Department brass presenting him with the Assistant Chief Patrick D. Brennan Police Officer of the Year Award.

Murrell will return to Supreme Court to be sentenced by Justice Ruth Shillingford on Jan. 7, 2019, prosecutors said.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Convicted: Defendant Justin Murrell.
District Attorney’s Office