Highway Patrol officer jumps into moving car to save toddler from impaired driver

NYSP jumps into moving car

Suffolk County Police today arrested a woman for driving while ability impaired by drugs with her baby in the vehicle after she refused to pull over on the Long Island Expressway in Manorville tonight.  Maria Lagatta was driving approximately 20 miles per hour eastbound on the Long Island Expressway one mile west of exit 70 when Highway Patrol Officer Joseph Goss attempted to initiate a traffic stop.  Lagatta refused to pull over. Officer Goss pulled alongside the vehicle and saw a baby in the rear passenger seat.  Officer Goss was able to slow down incoming traffic so they would not get rear-ended. Lagatta then slowed down to approximately 5 miles per hour.  Officer Goss sped past Lagatta, and parked his vehicle on the right shoulder.  He then jumped into Lagatta’s car, through the passenger side window and was able to bring the vehicle to a stop.  Lagatta and her 22-month-old daughter were not injured.  The daughter was released to a family member.  Child Protective Services were notified.  Lagatta, 37, of Farmingville, was charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger 15 Years Old or Younger (Leandra’s Law) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  Lagatta will be held at the Fourth Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on December 30.  The vehicle was impounded for a safety check.  Seventh Squad detectives are investigating.

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