Md. officer injured during traffic stop fights for his life

- Days after being hit by a suspected drunk driver during a traffic stop, a Montgomery County police officer is fighting for his life.

Noah Leotta, 24, remains in critical condition at the hospital. Friends and family have flown in from all over the country to be with Leotta, who was out on the roads looking for drunk drivers the night he was hit.

The officer sustained a serious head injury when police say he was hit from behind by a 47-year-old driver.

Montgomery County police officers have been keeping a constant watch at Suburban Hospital where Leotta has been since Thursday night. There have been some signs of improvement, according to one of his supervisors, but there is a long way to go.

Leotta was working a holiday alcohol detail and had just pulled over a driver on northbound Rockville Pike at Edmonston Drive when police say an Olney man in a 2012 Honda sideswiped his cruiser and hit the officer as he was about to get back into his car.

“Recovery from injuries take a long time. We don't expect things to happen overnight, but as a community and police department, we will be there to get him better and get him back to us," said Lt. Nick Augustine of Montgomery County Police. 

Montgomery County police say Luis Gustavo Reluzco refused to take a breathalyzer exam. Under Maryland law, when someone is involved in a crash with serious injury, police can have a blood sample taken from a suspect.

The results are still pending, and no charges have been filed at this time.


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