AUBURN (CBS) – A Worcester man has pleaded guilty to running down and injuring an Auburn police officer while he was high on heroin and behind the wheel.

In Worcester Superior Court on Thursday, Matthew Ostrander’s defense attorney said his client is “deeply remorseful” and “sorry” that he ran down Officer Luis Santos in February.

Matthew Ostrander of Worcester. (WBZ-TV)

Ostrander pleaded guilty to 11 charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily harm, leaving the scene of an accident, driving negligently, failing to stop for police and resisting arrest. He was sentenced to 15 years in state prison.

Santos was laying down stop sticks on Route 20 in Auburn when Ostrander struck him. Santos was assisting officers trying to apprehend Ostrander, who was being sought for an attempted break-in Millbury.

Santos, a married father of four, suffered a head injury, a broken right leg, and a left knee injury. Prosecutors said Santos has been out of work since the accident and is continuing medical treatment for his injuries.

The community rallied around Santos after the accident by setting up a donation fund to help him recover.

Officer Luis Santos of the Auburn Police Department. (Photo credit: Auburn PD Facebook page)

In court during victim impact statements, Santos said the timing of his near-death experience took a toll, nine months after fellow Auburn officer Ron Tarantino was killed in the line of duty. Santos said he has endured surgeries and months of physical rehabilitation and said he was in a wheelchair for months after the accident.

Santos said he’s “a police officer, a husband, a father, a son, a friend, a coworker, who almost died in the line of duty.”

Prosecutors also read a victim impact statement from a Millbury woman whose home Ostrander broke into shortly before the crash that injured Santos.

Matthew Ostrander booking photo. (Photo credit: Auburn Police)

“My daughter… keeps a knife and a hammer in her room,” the woman wrote in her statement.


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