Jagaul.com Legal Law New York Woman Makes Self-Incriminating Statements After Attack Caught on Video – JONATHAN TURLEY

New York Woman Makes Self-Incriminating Statements After Attack Caught on Video – JONATHAN TURLEY

Sahara Dula, 24, is a New England College criminal justice graduate who wants to specialize in “crisis communication.” If so, she has a bit to learn after intentionally hitting a police officer with her Lexus and then declaring “F— these cops, it’s a lesson to him.”

A video captures Dula driving the wrong way on Park Avenue near East 71st Street around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday when an officer approaches the vehicle to turn it around. She then floored the black Lexus and hit the officer.

She was later found to be high on marijuana. She told investigators “I told the cop I wanted to go straight, and he wouldn’t move, so I hit him. I did it on purpose. F— these cops! He wouldn’t move!”

The wounded officer suffered a broken leg and extensive bruising. However, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Lucy Shephard did not charge Dula with attempted murder. Instead, she will face an array of charges for first-degree attempted assault, attempted aggravated assault upon a police officer, second-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment and operating a vehicle while ability impaired by drugs and reckless driving.

Dula has a record of past arrests including a criminal mischief arrest in March 2022 after destroying property. The charges were dropped.  She was also arrested at least twice in New Hampshire, including an arrest in 2020 for failing to stop at an intersection in the town of Henniker and striking another vehicle. She then fled the scene. She was also arrested for simple assault after an incident at Concord Hospital.

There are reports that Dula has been under treatment for mental illness, including possible bipolar illness. It is difficult for courts to balance such elements. This is a person who has gone to school and reportedly supports her mother and family while struggling with mental illness. On the other hand, she just admitted to intentionally striking down an officer.

It is not clear if the defense will argue the mental illness as a defense and argue that she was experiencing an uncontrolled episode due to medication problems. Yet, how is a judge to handle such a claim? Dula is not institutionalized due to a view that she is able to function in society. The defense could argue that the episode showed that she requires institutionalization and treatment, but that she was not in control of her actions.

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