Suspect killed, 2 officers hurt in suburban N.Y. drug raid

ARDSLEY — Two police sergeants were hit by bullets and a wanted man from Connecticut was killed during a motel shootout in a suburban village north of New York City, authorities said Tuesday.

The gunfight broke out around 10:30 p.m. Monday as officers from multiple agencies tried to serve an arrest warrant at the Ardsley Acres Motel in Westchester County.

“As the officers approached the motel, suspect came out of the room and engaged the officers in gunfire,” Ardsley Chief Anthony Piccolino said. “Multiple shots were exchanged between the officers and the suspect.”

The sergeants, from the town of Greenburgh and Dobbs Ferry village police departments, were treated at a hospital and released afterward, according to the Journal News . The Greenburgh sergeant’s bulletproof vest stopped a bullet to his chest; the other officer suffered a leg wound, said Greenburgh Police Chief Chris McNerney.

The man who was killed, 42-year-old Samuel Galberth, of West Haven, Conn., had been sought in connection with investigations in Connecticut and elsewhere, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino Jr. said in a statement.

A motel guest, Anthony Passananti, told the Journal News he heard the barrage of shots.

“I ran back inside and just hoped one of the bullets didn’t come my way,” he said. “It was unbelievable.”

“This doesn’t happen up here,” said Passanati, who joked, “I’m from Brooklyn. We’re used to some of this, but not like this.”

The FBI and the Greenburgh Police task force, which includes officers from several departments, had gone to the motel to execute out-of-state warrants.

Scarpino’s spokeswoman, Helen Jonsen, said the allegations against Galberth included a narcotics warrant. Further details were not available.

The prosecutor also said a man who had been with Galberth at the motel was arrested on a warrant for bank robbery.

Another motel guest, Peter Norwell, who lives near Liverpool, England, was returning from a restaurant as police were evacuating the motel.

“It was like CSI: Ardsley,” he said, likening the scene to the TV crime show.

“It was like ‘dun, dun, dun, dun,’ and then it stopped” suddenly, a neighborhood resident, Nadia Ivanova, told WCBS, adding that “every police car in Ardsley” materialized within minutes.

“I feel like nothing really happens here — small community, quiet, small safe town,” Ivanova said.

Police said they normally had no problems at the motel.

By Patricia Older

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