KEW GARDENS HILLS, Queens (PIX11) — A man was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Friday for hitting an NYPD officer in the face with a crowbar, temporarily blinding him, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.

The wounded officer was in pursuit of Andres Tabares, a burglary suspect, at the time of the 2019 attack, officials said. Officer Anthony Spinella caught up to Tabares after a chase and grabbed him by the shirt. Tabares, now 40, swung his arm, hitting Spinella in the face with the crowbar he was holding.

After being arrested, Tabares said that “it was a mistake” and that he was just “trying to get away.”

“This defendant caused severe and permanent damage to a police officer responding to an attempted burglary call. Such brazen attacks will not stand in Queens County,” Katz said. “The defendant, who pleaded guilty to the crime in August, has now been held accountable and sentenced by the Court.”

Officers also arrested Marlon Morales Moreira, 32, in connection with the April 16, 2019 robbery. Morales Moreira is next scheduled to be in court on Oct. 12.