A Roosevelt man has admitted to shooting a Hempstead village police officer who was looking to question the man about a street robbery in 2011.

Michael Benitez pleaded guilty Monday at Nassau County court to second-degree attempted murder shortly after opening arguments at his trial.

Prosecutors said the 23-year-old man fired multiple shots at a Hempstead police officer who was chasing him to question him about a robbery on Dec. 2, 2011.

The officer was hit in the left arm and back but return fire, hitting Benitez in the groin, thigh and arm.

When Benitez still refused to drop his gun, the officer shot the gun out of his hand. The bullet that struck the officer in the back was stopped by his bulletproof vest.

Judge Tammy Robbins is expected to sentence Benitez to 25 years in prison on March 11.


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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.