Last night at approximately 9:47 p.m., an on-duty Montgomery County Police officer was struck by a passing vehicle as he conducted a traffic stop. The officer, identified as Noah Leotta, remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.
The on-scene investigation by Collision Reconstruction Unit detectives has revealed that Officer Leotta was conducting a traffic stop in the curb lane of northbound Rockville Pike and Edmonston Drive. During the course of this traffic stop, a 2012 Honda CRV, traveling north on Rockville Pike, first struck Officer Leotta’s marked cruiser and then struck Officer Leotta, who was outside of his vehicle.
The driver of the CRV, identified as Luis Gustavo Reluzco, age 47, of Rolling Meadow Way in Olney, remained at the collision scene. Luis Reluzco was taken into custody under the suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. He had no reported injuries. Due to the seriousness of Officer Leotta’s injuries, Reluzco was required by Maryland law to submit to a blood test that will be analyzed for alcohol; those results are pending. Collision Reconstruction Unit detectives continue to examine the circumstances of this collision and if charges are to be made, they will be placed after the completion of their investigation.
Officer Noah Leotta, age 24, has been a Montgomery County Police officer since January of 2013. Officer Leotta is a 4th District officer who is currently working as a member of the Holiday Alcohol Task Force. The officers of the Holiday Alcohol Task Force devote their full time and attention to detecting alcohol-related offenses during the holiday season. Before serving as a Montgomery County Police officer, Officer Leotta interned with the Department in a unit that focuses on impaired-driving enforcement.
“Noah is not only a dedicated young police officer, he is a caring person who became a cop to serve the community where he grew up. He needs everyone’s prayers as he fights for his life,” says Chief of Police Tom Manger.
The men and women of the Department thank the community for the continued thoughts and prayers being sent to Officer Leotta.
Anyone who witnessed this collision or has information about this collision is asked to call the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620.