SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A man facing weapons charges in Springfield is accused of trying to murder a New York police officer.

Officials with the Westchester County (NY) Police Department said that around 11:30 a.m. Monday, an officer pulled over a vehicle for a traffic violation on the northbound side of the Hutchinson Parkway in New Rochelle.

That officer, according to police, found that the driver - identified by Springfield Police as 22-year-old Kevin Santos - did not have a valid license and asked the driver to get out of the car.

"The driver initially complied but then jumped back into the Honda. The officer attempted to prevent him from fleeing," Westchester County Police said in a statement.

As the officer tried to remove Santos from the vehicle, that car sped off while the officer was leaning into the car.

That officer was able to climb into the vehicle in an effort to not be dragged and he reportedly struggled with Santos as the vehicle reached speeds up to 60 miles per hour with the driver's door still open.

"The driver swerved across both lanes of the highway and on to the shoulder, accelerating and then braking hard, in an apparent effort to throw the officer from the car," Westchester County Police said in a Facebook post.

The officer was able to stop the car after approximately three-quarters of a mile.  Santos' vehicle was then boxed in by a police cruiser as he attempted to flee again.

“The actions of this driver put our officer in grave danger. It is fortunate that he was not seriously injured or killed," said Westchester County Police Commissioner Thomas A. Gleason

Investigators reportedly found 9,000 envelopes of heroin during a search of the car following the incident.

Santos is facing several charges in New York including attempted murder of a police officer, assault and criminal possession of a controlled substance (first degree).

The Westchester County officer was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for a hand and arm injury and was treated and released.

Springfield Police spokesperson Ryan Walsh said that Santos was out on bail after being arrested on March 30 by the department's C-3 North End unit.  Santos was reportedly a passenger in a car and had a firearm at his feet when he allegedly kicked it under the driver's seat as police approached the car.

That gun, Springfield Police explained, was loaded and was capable of holding 15 rounds of ammunition.

Santos was charged in that Springfield incident with:

  • Possession of a firearm without a license-to-carry
  • Possession of ammunition without a FID
  • Improper storage of a large capacity firearm
  • Possession of a high capacity feeding device
  • Possession of a Class E drug

“We are thinking of our brother officer in Westchester County and wish him a speedy recovery. Any officer will tell you and both these incidents emphasize it; there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop. When an individual is caught with an illegal firearm they should not be right back out on the street, this is another reason why Governor Baker’s Bill to Protect Communities from Dangerous Individuals and Mayor Sarno’s Bail Legislation is so important to pass,” said Springfield's acting Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood in a statement.

A hearing on Santos' case from March is scheduled to take place in July.

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