Drunk driver injures N.Y. officer in collision

By Zachary R. Dowdy

NORTH PATCHOGUE, N.Y. — A North Patchogue teen was driving drunk from one beach to another when he struck a police cruiser, injuring an officer, and tried to leave the scene, police said.

Matthew Semon, 17, of 4 Fiesta Ct., was arraigned yesterday before Judge Paul Hensley in First District Court in Central Islip on charges of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury.

He is being held on $5,000 cash bail and is due back in court June 19, prosecutors said.

Semon's relatives declined to comment when reached at his home. His attorney, Timothy Mazzei of Blue Point, also declined to comment.

Lt. John O'Brien, commander of uniformed officers in the Fifth Precinct, said Semon was driving with two female friends at about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday when he proceeded through the intersection of Route 27A and Atlantic Avenue in Patchogue and broadsided a police vehicle driven by Officer Charles Roe.

"He was moving at a decent speed, a substantial speed," O'Brien said of Semon. He said Semon and his teenage friends were headed from one beach to another at the time of the crash. Semon's passengers were not injured.

Roe's vehicle, police said, spun around several times and struck a retaining wall, after which Semon fled in the car along Northwood Lane in Patchogue.

Officer Tracy Barry followed Semon and caught him, O'Brien said.

"She did a great job," O'Brien said. "She was right on and had other units to assist within a minute."

Both cars were extensively damaged, O'Brien said. He said Roe was treated at Stony Brook University Hospital for neck and back injuries and released.

Semon was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, where he was treated for a head laceration. 
Matthew Semon, 17, of North Patchogue, after arrest

Copyright 2007 Newsday

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