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Peabody car thief gets 8 to 10 years in prison

NEWBURYPORT – A convicted felon who admitted he stole several cars and mowed down two security guards at a Peabody elderly housing complex in 2005 will serve eight to 10 years in prison before being placed on probation for another three years.Steven J. Reznikow, 39, who last lived at 28 Faxon St., Apt. 7, in Stoughton, was about to go on trial in Newburyport Superior Court Tuesday when he opted to negotiate his case and confess.A 14-member jury that included two alternates had already been selected to sit on the trial when Reznikow decided to plead his case before Judge Richard E. Welch, III.The judge imposed the recommended sentence offered to the court.Reznikow also received concurrent sentences of four to five years on some of the charges, but those will run together, instead of one after the other, with the eight-to-10-year term of incarceration.He pleaded guilty to nine of the 16 indictments charged against him, which included aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; assault with a dangerous weapon, three counts of receiving a stolen motor vehicle, subsequent offenses; attempting to commit a crime of larceny of a motor vehicle; larceny over $250; reckless operating of a motor vehicle and leaving the scene after causing personal injury.The remaining six charges were dropped because they were duplicative of other charges, said Assistant District Attorney William J. Melkonian.Melkonian told Welch that the incident began on the afternoon of May 28, 2005, when Reznikow shoplifted about $950 in clothing from Bob’s Stores on Route 1 in Saugus.After fleeing from the store with an armload of coats, he jumped into a car and left the scene in a vehicle that had been reported stolen earlier out of Woburn.As police chased him down Route 95, Reznikow swerved the car, attempting to hit Saugus Police Officer Daniel Wing, who was in pursuit.Less than a mile away, he dumped the sedan in the Lone Star Steakhouse parking lot, and stole a blue Chevy Celebrity owned by a Stoughton woman, and headed north.With Saugus police and state troopers on his tail, driving between 60 and 75 mph, Reznikow weaved in and out of traffic. Then, at Route 114, he discarded the Celebrity near the Avalon Bay apartment complex and ran through the woods to the Brooksby Village retirement community in Peabody. A resident in the apartment complex spotted Reznikow running and alerted security.Security guards Elaine Bushway of Salem, and Christopher Stewart of Saugus chased Reznikow on foot, but he eluded the guards and stole their Ford Explorer.Before fleeing from the complex, he backed into the pursuing guards, critically injuring Bushway, who sustained several broken bones as well as head and internal injuries as a result of the rundown.Stewart sustained a fractured shoulder and a laceration on his head as a result of the hit and run.Reznikow then dumped the Explorer in a nearby parking lot on Route 114 and grabbed another car, a red Oldsmobile, and raced back onto Route 114 towards Middleton, eluding police.Following an investigation, Reznikow was arrested in Medford at a home on Lambert Street after nearly two weeks of eluding authorities.Both Bushway and Stewart were present during the hearing, but did not allocate.Bushway’s sister, Marita took the stand and described to Welch her sister’s cognitive deficiencies she now suffers and the lingering effects the incident left her with.Her brother also read an impact statement to the court from Bushway, describing the ordeal she encountered.Melkonian said that the victims and their families were acceptable to the punishment imposed on Reznikow.Defense lawyer William J. O’Hare suggested that the incident was triggered because Reznikow had just lost very close family members.Before sentencing, Reznikow apologized to the victims, saying he was “sorry” and didn’t mean to hurt anybody.The judge credited Reznikow the 274 days he has spent in jail awaiting trial on t

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