A Jamaica man is facing attempted murder charges for allegedly dragging one police officer — and then trying to run over another cop — with his vehicle after getting pulled over on a Queens street earlier this week, prosecutors announced.
According to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, Kyle Freistat, 38, was behind the wheel of black Nissan Maxima when officers from the 103rd Precinct, on patrol in the area, observed him failing to come to a full stop at a posted sign in the area of Brinckerhoff Avenue and 174th Street on the afternoon of July 26.
Police Officers Daniel Gaspertti and Anthony Arlistico signaled for Freistat to pull over in front of a home on Brinckerhoff Avenue. Law enforcement sources said that the officers got out of their car and approached the suspect’s vehicle, with Gaspertti on the driver’s side and Arlistico on the passenger’s side.
Prosecutors said that, upon request, Freistat produced a U.S. Virgin Islands driver’s license that appeared to be a forgery. The suspect then refused the officers’ command that he exit from the sedan.
When Gaspertti opened the front driver’s side door to get Freistat out of the car, Brown said, Freistat allegedly suddenly hit the gas pedal, dragging the officer for a distance before the Nissan Maxima struck a parked vehicle nearby.
Authorities said Arlistico then approached the vehicle from the passenger’s side, but when he did so, Freistat — with Gaspertti still trapped inside the driver’s side door — began backing up at the other officer. Though he ducked out of the way, Arlistico was ultimately hit by the open passenger door.
Brown said that Freistat continued driving and dragging Gaspertti until he hit two more parked vehicles. After a brief struggle with officers, Freistat was ultimately taken into custody.
In searching the vehicle, law enforcement sources said, officers found a knife on the floor of the car as well as a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol with eight live rounds.
Both Gaspertti and Arlistico were hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Freistat was arraigned on July 27 on a 16-count criminal complaint that included first-degree charges of attempted murder and assault, as well as additional counts of assault, criminal possession of a weapon, assault on a police or peace officer, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a forged instrument, unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, resisting arrest and two traffic violations.
“This case clearly illustrated how dangerous police work is and why police officers are not permitted the luxury of assuming that any traffic stop is a routine matter,” Brown said in a statement.
Freistat faces up to 25 years to life behind bars if convicted of the charges.