MILFORD, MA (The Milford Daily News) – A Milford man, who authorities allege struck an off-duty police officer earlier this week while driving under the influence and lied about it, was held on $10,000 cash bail Thursday in Milford District Court.
Ignacio Morocho, 42, of 7 South High St., faces several charges, including operating under the influence of liquor, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, misleading a police officer, failing to stop or yield and possessing an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, police said.
He was also arrested on a warrant on charges of driving without a license from a prior case.
A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf during an arraignment hearing.
Witnesses told police the vehicle Morocho, an Ecuadorian immigrant, was allegedly driving went through a stop sign at the intersection of Central and East streets Tuesday night and struck a vehicle driven by an off-duty Milford police officer.
According to a police report on file in court, the officer had a concussion, a laceration on his head and numerous bruises on his body.
He was taken to Milford Regional Medical Center for treatment and was released the following day, police Chief Tom O’Loughlin said.
Authorities responded to the crash around 10:30 p.m., when they found the off-duty officer being treated by EMS personnel.
The officer said he was traveling east on Central Street when he was struck by a vehicle coming from East Street.
His vehicle, which was heavily damaged on its sides and rear, was on the sidewalk and had struck a stop sign and a fire hydrant because of the crash, the report said.
Morocho was in the passenger seat of the other vehicle when police found him.
Authorities said his speech was slurred and they smelled alcohol on his breath.
He told them he was a passenger of the vehicle and that the driver had fled the scene, police said.
″(Morocho) also stated he did not know who the operator was, but he fled the scene of the accident after it happened. (He) also told officers he did not know where they were going, or where he was picked up from.”
Police said they found empty cans of beer in the vehicle. They also determined a warrant was issued for Morocho’s arrest on charges of unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle that he had defaulted on in a different case.
O’Loughlin said police notified Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding Morocho’s arrest.
The owner of the vehicle was issued citations for allowing an unlicensed or improper operator and for possessing an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.
Morocho is due back in court on March 8 for a pretrial hearing.