A Roosevelt man was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison for shooting a Hempstead village police officer who was chasing him for his suspected role in a street robbery two years ago.

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

Prosecutors said the 23-year-old was being chased by two officers when a third cop, responding to the radio call of the pursuit, spotted Benitez on Cooper Street in December 2011.

Benitez fired multiple shots at the officer, striking him in the left arm and back.

The officer returned fire, hitting Benitez in the groin, thigh, and arm. The officer then shot the gun out of Benitez’ hand after he refused to drop his gun weapon.

The bullet that struck the officer in the back was stopped by his bulletproof vest.


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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.