01/24/2007

Beaten NYPD rookie cop has surgery; 3 charged

By Rocco Parascandola
Newsday

An off-duty rookie cop badly beaten in a confrontation following a traffic accident in Chelsea remained hospitalized yesterday with serious head injuries, police said.

The wounded officer, Richard Lomax, suffered swelling of the brain in the early Saturday accident and underwent surgery that helped stabilize his condition, police said. Lomax, 29, was in critical condition in St. Vincent's Hospital.

An off-duty officer with him at the time, Robert DeFazio, 21, suffered minor injuries in the accident, which occurred at West 28th Street and 10th Avenue.

DeFazio was treated at the same hospital and released the same day.

The officers, both of whom graduated from the police academy two weeks ago, were in Lomax's Ford Explorer when the accident occurred, police said.

The Explorer skidded on ice and struck the back of a Nissan Maxima.

The officers, police said, identified themselves as cops and dialed 911, but the suspects jumped out of the Maxima and attacked them.

The suspects - Lamont Lafoucade, 33, and Durvell Williams, 21, both of Brooklyn, and Thelma López, 28, of the Bronx - were charged with gang assault. Lafoucade was also charged with driving while intoxicated.

All three suspects have been ordered held without bail.

Copyright 2007 Newsday, Inc.

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