Westchester Co. officer charged with DWI

December 28, 2009 3:53:50 PM PST
When we first met Officer Joseph Kraus he was on patrol, trying to prevent accidents. Now the Westchester County officer is on the other side of the law charged with causing one that hurt a fellow officer.

Early Sunday morning Kraus was off duty, behind the wheel of his pickup truck driving on East Parkway in Scarsdale at 1:24 a.m.

Police say Kraus was drunk when he went through a red light and hit a police cruiser being driven by Officer Jessica Knatz. Kraus remained at the scene, but refused to take a breathalyzer test.

Kraus was charged with driving while intoxicated on Monday.

Rescuers cut Officer Knatz out of her vehicle. She suffered non-life threatening injuries to her back and face.

An accident reconstruction unit was back at the busy intersection on Monday.

Scarsdale is asking an impartial agency, the state police, to gather evidence in a sensitive investigation.

Deputy County Executive Susan Tolchin told Lohud.com that the accident does not reflect on the county police department, but on what one officer did.

Kraus is a 4-and-a half year veteran of the county police, assigned to the department's crash reduction unit -- a Compstat-like program designed to reduce collisions at known trouble spots along Westchester's parkways.

Officer Knatz remained in the hospital on Monday, recovering from her injuries.

Officer Kraus has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.