ROOSEVELT/Man arrested for menacing
A Roosevelt man with a history of mental illness faces endangerment and menacing charges after he spit in the face of a woman walking with her infant, police said.
The woman, 24, whom police are not naming, was walking with her 4-month-old in a carrier on her chest near the intersection of Nassau Road and West Centennial Avenue around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday when Serge Delaleu, 41, of 129 Forest Ave., approached her and asked her if a man riding by on a bicycle was her husband, Nassau County police said.
When the woman replied that the man was not her husband, Delaleu became "agitated," began making threatening hand gestures at the woman, then spit in her face, Insp. Kenneth Lack, a spokesman for Nassau police, said yesterday. The woman turned and walked away, and Delaleu tried to kick her, Lack said.
The mother crossed Nassau Road, and the man walked away from her, northbound. He was arrested later in Freeport on charges that he menaced a 13-year-old girl there, Lack said.
Neither the baby nor the mother was injured, police said. The teenage girl also was not hurt, police said.
Lack said Delaleu has a police history of erratic behavior and mental disturbance. He has also been charged in the past with criminal contempt and criminal possession of a weapon and burglary, among other things, police said.
Police originally thought Delaleu had tried to take the baby from the woman, a department spokeswoman said yesterday. But further investigation determined that was not the case, she said.
Delaleu is charged with menacing and endangering the welfare of a child. He pleaded not guilty to the charges yesterday in First District Court in Hempstead, and was held on $18,000 cash bail or bond. He is represented by the Nassau County Legal Aid Society, which does not comment on individual cases. He is due back in court tomorrow.
-- ANN GIVENS AND GARY DYMSKI
NORTH BABYLON/Drive-through break-ins
Suffolk County police detectives are looking for a man who broke into drive-through grocery stores in North Babylon and Lake Ronkonkoma on several occasions last month, stealing cigarettes and other items.
The man illegally entered, or tried to enter, The Barn locations between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. and stole packs of cigarettes from storage cabinets, then put the items into a black knapsack decorated with a peace sign and pink heart, police said.
Surveillance cameras show the suspect is a tall, thin male with a mustache and glasses, wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans with a black belt and tan-colored construction boots, police said. Anyone with information on the break-ins is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.
-- JOSEPH MALLIA
WEST ISLIP/Struck bicyclist, 15, critical
A 15-year-old West Islip boy was in critical condition after he was struck by a sport utility vehicle while riding his bicycle Tuesday evening on Udall Road, Suffolk County police said.
Police said the boy, identified as Thomas Labetti, suffered "severe internal injuries" in the crash, which occurred at 7:38 p.m. on southbound Udall. Labetti was taken by West Islip Fire Department Rescue Ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip.
Police said Dennis A. Grabhorn Jr., 34, of Peter Paul Drive, driver of the 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe that struck Labetti, was not injured in the crash. He was not charged.
Police said the investigation into the cause of the accident is continuing and that the vehicle was impounded for a safety check. Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call Third Squad detectives at 631-854-8352. All calls will remain confidential.
-- JOHN VALENTI
ISLIP/Odor evacuates school
Students at an Islip elementary school were evacuated for a short time yesterday morning after officials reported an odor in the building, a district spokeswoman said.
School officials reported the odor at Commack Road Elementary School about 9:20 a.m. to the Islip Fire Department.
Students were evacuated as a precautionary measure, said Islip School District spokeswoman Marissa Sanseverino, adding they have since been cleared to return to the building.
The district sent a notice to parents advising them of the evacuation.
"The fire department responded quickly and said there were no concerns," she said. Sanseverino said fire officials noted there had been a previous report of exhaust fumes north of Sunrise Highway.
-- TANIA LOPEZ