Grand Island man accused of trying to kill Sheriff’s deputy

GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) — A man who was previously out on bail has been charged with attempted murder of a police officer.

Last month, Sammy Abdellatif, 22, was arrested on a charge of aggravated harassment after allegedly threatening to kill Erie County Sheriff’s deputies.

Deputies say they pulled him and another person over on East River Road on Grand Island Wednesday night.

Before Abdellatif and driver Brittany Ashley-Graser, 21, were pulled over, deputies say their vehicle was going back and forth near the scene. While this was happening, the Sheriff’s Office says Abdellatif shouted threats and obscenities at a deputy.

The deputy initiated a traffic stop during this time and tried to arrest Abdellatif on a charge of disorderly conduct. In an unruly move, the Grand Island man then tried to trap the deputy’s hand in the vehicle window by rolling up the glass, officials say.

Because of this, the deputy says he had to break the window to free his hand.

This is when officials say Abdellatif got out of the vehicle and began to violently assault the deputy. Ashley-Graser allegedly joined in. During the assault, a pit bull left the vehicle and acted aggressively toward the officer.

“One certainly notable difference here is that the deputy was not stalking them or following them,” Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard said. “They sought out the deputy last night, they challenge the deputy, they yelled obscenities in the presence of other people, they drew the deputies attention last night.”

A civilian eventually saw the situation and proceeded to free the deputy from Abdellatif’s chokehold, officials say. At this point, deputies say the dog attacked the civilian.

“The passenger had applied a chokehold to the deputy and as the deputy was losing consciousness, a good Samaritan named Peter O’Brien stopped, and as a result of his interaction, we have no doubt, saved the deputy’s life,” Howard said.

Once another deputy arrived at the scene, officials say the first deputy was found on the ground bleeding and gasping for air.

As the second deputy ordered Abdellatif to the ground, the first deputy crawled over and managed to handcuff the man.

Abdellatif’s alleged violence did not end there though. While trying to place him in a patrol car, officials say Abdellatif became aggressive again and kicked the second deputy. Abdellatif was eventually secured in the vehicle.

Abdellatif and Ashley-Graser were taken to the Erie County Holding Center before arraignment. The latter was charged with felony assault, obstruction of governmental administration and resisting arrest.

Both Abdellatif and Ashley-Graser pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges against them. Abdellatif was remanded to jail. His bail has yet to be set.

Ashley-Graser, who had no criminal history, had her bond set at $50,000.

The first deputy was taken to ECMC, where he stayed overnight to receive treatment for serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

“The impact of this will take a while to set in, and again, he has expressed that he is at home with his wife and children and is celebrating life,” Howard said.

Additional charges related to the incident may be pending.

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