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Cab driver's lawyer: Off-duty officer was drunk

March 4, 2011 2:48:35 PM PST
Cab driver Thomas Moroughan has insisted that he is the victim from the start.

His lawyer went a step further on Friday, claiming that the off-duty Nassau County police officer who shot his client was drunk.

Petrillo demanded prosecutors turn over the evidence, which he claims is contained in medical records at Huntington Hospital. Both men were treated there in the moments after the shooting.

The incident happened last Sunday at 1:15 in the morning. The 27 year-old officer was in his own car and off-duty. He admitted he argued with Moroughan, who was driving a taxi.

"The defendant started to get out of his vehicle, so I got out of my vehicle," Officer Anthony DiLeonardo said in a statement. "We continued arguing."

Suddenly, he claims Moroughan tried to run him down.

"I thought he was going to hit me with the car," DiLeonardo said, "and I was in fear of my life. That is when I shot the defendant to stop him from hitting me."

Moroughan was struck twice and arrested for assault.

He claims the officer and another off-duty officer were driving erratically. He also admits they exchanged words, but he denies trying to run anybody over.

"I didn't do anything to deserve to be shot, pistol-whipped, beaten-up and then arrested. This was unfair and nobody deserves to go through this," Moroughan said.

The president of the police union denied there was any such evidence.

The Suffolk County DA's office would only say that the shooting was still being investigated.

William Moroughan has pleaded not guilty to assault and reckless endangerment.


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