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Dareious Akbar was arrested and charged with attempted murder of Town of Tonawanda Police Officer

Dareious Akbar was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of Officer David Piatek.

TONAWANDA, N.Y. — Dareious Akbar, 19, has been arrested and charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and criminal possession of stolen property in connection with hitting a Town of Tonawanda police officer, according to the Town of Tonawanda.

Town of Tonawanda Police is calling a hit-and-run case, saying it's tied to a stolen vehicle and seriously injured one of their police officers Monday night.

A resident's drone video shows the Town of Tonawanda Police swarming the scene on Sheridan Parkside Drive near Pyle Court Monday evening. That's where police say around 8 o'clock two Tonawanda officers pulled over a car which Crime Stoppers Western New York says turned out to be a stolen black KIA Sportage SUV. 

Chief James Staufigger says Officer David Piatek, was the initial officer on the traffic stop. "Officer Piatek was interviewing the driver of the vehicle. Officer Bellis was interviewing the passenger in the vehicle. And the vehicle then fled off and Officer Piatek was dragged from the scene for approximately 60 feet. I don't know how he was caught on the vehicle. We're reviewing body cam and dashboard footage right now."

That speeding stolen car was again described as a black KIA Sportage. As we've reported extensively many KIAs have been car thieves' favorite targets in Western New York and around the country.

But circumstances with the injured Tonawanda officer in this alleged hit and run are hard to accept. Stauffer explains "It's been very difficult for the entire department. Even when I took the phone call last night at approximately 8:30 I was in shock actually when I received a phone call from Officer Piatek's Captain. And we have all rallied around each other and to be there for Officer Piatek and his family. But it has been emotionally exhausting." 

Stauffiger says Officer Piatek is in stable condition in the ECMC  Intensive Care Unit. He is supported there by his family and law enforcement colleagues. "He did suffer head trauma and he's being taken care of very well by the ECMC staff. I do expect him to have a recovery at this time. He is showing some improvement in his condition."

Crime Stoppers of Western New York is still offering a $2,500 dollar reward for information leading to an arrest or indictment of those responsible.

Call Tonawanda Police at 716-879-6614 or Crime Stoppers at 716-867-6161 or use their" Buffalo Tips" mobile app. 

Stolen car cases have recently been very dangerous for police officers. You may recall Cheektowaga Police Officer Troy Blackchief was severely injured back in February and a 17-year-old car theft suspect was charged in that case. 

And in the Rochester area, a police officer was hit by a car that police say was stolen by a 14-year-old driver as officers responded to the parking lot of a KIA dealership. 


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