TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — An arrest was made Tuesday in connection to an incident where a Town of Tonawanda police officer was dragged by a stolen vehicle Monday, injuring him.

Dareious Akbar, 19, was charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, aggravated assault and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Courtesy: Erie County District Attorney’s Office

According to Town of Tonawanda police, a black Kia Sportage was stolen before being stopped around 8 p.m. Monday. Officials say it was stopped after driving through a red light and that the vehicle had been reported stolen out of East Aurora. Akbar then allegedly sped off from the scene, dragging and seriously injuring an officer.

The incident took place near Sheridan-Parkside Drive and Pyle Court.

The officer, whom police identified as David Piatek, is a two-year veteran of the Town of Tonawanda Police Department. He was taken to ECMC, where as of Monday, he’s in stable condition.

“It’s been emotionally exhausting. When I took the phone call at about 8:30 last night. I was in shock myself to hear that one of my officers was critically injured and it has been emotionally draining for all of us,’ said Town of Tonawanda Police Chief James Stauffiger. “We have had around the clock presence with David in the hospital of course with his family, and our officers are going through a lot right now because he is a family member as well.”

“I’ve been here for over 28 years and this is the first time I’ve ever been involved in one of our officers being injured to this extent, and I don’t think it’s something you can totally prepare yourself for,” Stauffiger said. “After that initial shock takes place we start getting into that mode where we start doing the things we need to for one another.”

Akbar was remanded without bail and is expected back in court on June 5. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison.

According to police files obtained by News 4, this is not the first time Akbar has been in trouble surrounding alleged stolen vehicles.

The 19-year-old pleaded guilty in April to a criminal possession of stolen property charge from Oct. 22, 2022. The charge stemmed from Akbar being caught with a stolen Kia Soul by Buffalo police.

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office detailed other charges Akbar faces out of Amherst. Akbar allegedly stole a 2019 Dodge Ram in Hamburg as well as debit and credit cards from nearby parked vehicles in September 2022. It is then alleged that he used the stolen cards to make purchases in Amherst.

He was arrested on May 23 for this alleged incident and arraigned the following morning on third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and four counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He was released on his own recognizance as the charges were non-qualifying bail offenses.

Additionally, he faces a menacing charge out of Lackawanna after he allegedly pointed a black BB gun at another person. He was arrested on April 16 of this year for that charge and received an appearance ticket.

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