Man guilty in DUI crash that hurt cop

June 15, 2009 2:43:53 PM PDT
A man who critically injured a Long Island police officer last year in a drunken-driving crash was found guilty on all charges Monday.Rahiem Griffin was convicted of vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, two counts of DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and operating without a license.

He is due back in court for sentencing July 22. The jury deliberated for less than one full day before reaching a unanimous verdict.

The 27-year-old was speeding while drunk on the Long Island Expressway in Plainview last May and slammed into Officer Kenneth Baribault.

Authorities say Baribault had pulled over another person suspected of drunken driving when his police cruiser was rear-ended by the Shirley man.

The 30-year-old officer can only speak in single syllables and remains paralyzed on his right side a year later.

"This was not an accident," District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. "Drunk driving crashes are inevitable when people drink and get behind the wheel. This verdict won't speed up Ken's recovery, but it will give Ken and his family the knowledge that this defendant was held responsible for the choices that nearly killed a courageous and brave public servant."


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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