A 24-year-old Westchester man has been charged for attempting to murder a member of the FBI.
New Rochelle resident Darren Smith has been charged with attempting to murder a federal officer after attempting to flee from police in Getty Square in downtown Yonkers on Friday, Sept. 25, federal officials announced on Monday morning, Sept. 28.
It is alleged that shortly before 4 p.m. on Sept. 25, police officers attempted to stop Smith’s car after he committed multiple traffic infractions, and he proceeded to speed away before attempted to flee on foot, brandishing a handgun.
According to acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, the officers, including an FBI Task Force Officer who heard a call for assistance, attempted to arrest him, at which point Smith began firing his weapon into Getty Square.
When the FBI officer attempted to wrestle Smith under control to prevent him from firing again, he allegedly struggled and turned the gun in the officer’s direction, continuing to fire shots.
In the struggle, the officer fractured a finger, sprained a knee, and suffered multiple abrasions to the hand. The handgun and multiple bullet shell casings were recovered at the scene.
In addition to the attempted murder charge, Smith was also charged with using a deadly weapon to interfere with the performance of a federal officer’s official duties and discharging a firearm int he course of a crime of violence.
“As law enforcement professionals, we all take an oath to protect the public from harm,” FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney, Jr. said. “When this subject allegedly fired his gun wildly into a public square to prevent his arrest, police officers, including a task force officer from our Westchester Safe Streets Task Force, took immediate action to prevent innocent people from being killed or injured by stray bullets.
“We take our oath seriously, and we won’t back away from our pursuit of holding criminals accountable for their actions.”
If convicted, Smith faces a maximum of life and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.
“As this was one of the most depraved and reckless acts I have witnessed in my 28 years in law enforcement, the response by our Yonkers Police officers was also one of the most heroic and selfless acts I have witnessed in my career,” Yonkers Police Commissioner John Mueller said.
“We often hear how our police officers run toward danger, without consideration for their own well-being,” Mueller added. “In this incident, everyone who views the video can attest to the validity of this often-used term.”
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