Suspect pleads guilty to assaulting New York State Trooper while attempting to flee arrest

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FILE PHOTO: A gavel and a block is pictured at the George Glazer Gallery antique store in this illustration picture taken in Manhattan, New York City

Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen announces that Duane D. McEwan, of Halfmoon, New York pleaded guilty today in Saratoga County Court before Saratoga County Court Judge James A. Murphy, III, to Assault in the Second Degree, in violation of New York State Penal Law Section 120.05(3), a Class “D” Violent Felony. 

Defendant McEwan admitted in court to Judge Murphy that he caused physical injury to a police officer while attempting to escape from custody during a lawful arrest.  McEwan’s plea was taken in satisfaction of a twelve-count indictment pending in Saratoga County Court.

The incident occurred on the afternoon of April 1, 2021 during a vehicle stop in the area Mohawk Commons in the Town of Halfmoon. Defendant was in the process of being placed under arrest for possession of narcotics. While being handcuffed by a member of the State Police, McEwan actively resisted arrest and physically fought with the arresting officer. After a short struggle outside defendant’s vehicle, McEwan was able to get back into the driver’s seat of his vehicle. McEwan continued to fight with the officer while inside his vehicle. And, despite being handcuffed to the steering wheel and the officer using pepper spray, McEwan was able to get the vehicle into gear and to flee in his vehicle at a high rate of speed. While fleeing, the arresting officer was thrown from driver’s side of defendant’s vehicle to the pavement and injured as a result. The arresting officer was transported to Saratoga Hospital where she was treated for her injuries. McEwan was apprehended a short distance later in the area of Woodin Road after a police pursuit and a property damage crash.  At the time of his arrest, McEwan was found to be in possession of a quantity of cocaine.   

Sentencing is scheduled for April 18, 2022, when it is expected McEwan will receive a determinate sentence of 5 years in a state correctional facility, to be followed by a period of post-release supervision of 5 years. 

“Police officers have a duty to respond to calls that regularly place them in dangerous situations,” said District Attorney Heggen. “Those who cause injury to police officers who are just doing their jobs and protect our community must to be held accountable for their actions. My office will continue to support the brave men and women in our police departments and will prosecute and punish those who injure officers in the line of duty.”

District Attorney Heggen commended Senior Assistant District Attorney Shawn Lescault and Assistant District Attorney Mary Northrup for handling the prosecution of McEwan.