Deputy assaulted at traffic stop by man out on bail for July death threat
Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports his deputies arrested a Grand Island man and charged him with attempted murder of a police officer, an A-1 felony, after a traffic stop on East River Road in Grand Island.
Sammy Abdellatif, 22, of Grand Island, is being held at the Erie County Holding Center pending his arraignment in Grand Island Town Court.
According to the Erie County Sheriff's Office, the incident began around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday when Deputy Jason Clark was investigating an unrelated suspicious vehicle report on East River Road. During the deputy's investigation, a vehicle drove back and forth by the scene, at least twice, with the passenger shouting threats and obscenities at Clark. The deputy cleared the suspicious person call and performed a traffic stop on the vehicle from which the threats originated. During the traffic stop, Clark identified the person making the threats as Abdellatif, who was out on bail from an earlier arrest July 18. In that incident, Abdellatif was charged with aggravated harassment in the second degree after he called Erie County Sheriff's Office's dispatchers and threatened to "murder his ass straight up" the next time he saw a specific deputy. Abdellatif was allegedly upset after the deputy issued a ticket to a female for driving without her license.
Wednesday, when the deputy attempted to arrest Abdellatif on disorderly conduct charges, Abdellatif rolled up the window of his vehicle, nearly trapping the deputy's hand; the deputy was forced to break the vehicle's window to prevent being trapped between the glass and the vehicle.
According to the sheriff's report, Abdellatif "exited the vehicle and immediately began physically and violently assaulting" Clark. The report said the driver, identified as Brittany Ashley-Graser, exited the vehicle and jumped on the back of the deputy. As Clark attempted to gain control of Abdellatif and fight off Ashley-Graser, a pit bull exited the vehicle and was aggressive toward the deputy. At this point Peter O'Brien, a citizen passing by, stopped and engaged the assailants, freeing Clark from Abdellatif's chokehold. O'Brien was then attacked by the dog.
A second deputy assigned to Grand Island, Nicholas Coniglio, arrived at the scene and observed his partner on the ground bleeding and gasping for air. The report said Abdellatif took an aggressive and offensive posture toward Coniglio. At gunpoint, Coniglio ordered Abdellatif to the ground and Clark handcuffed him, and the suspect went kicking into the patrol vehicle.
During this time, the sheriff's office said Ashley-Graser stepped between Coniglio and Abdellatif, interfering with Coniglio's attempt to approach Abdellatif.
Ashley-Graser, 21, of Grand Island was arrested and charged with felony assault, obstruction of governmental administration, and resisting arrest and is held at the holding center pending her arraignment.
Clark was taken to Erie County Medical Center for serious but not life threatening injuries and was released Thursday morning.
The investigation continues and additional charges may be pending.