Former Nassau Legis. Mejias arrested in domestic dispute

Former Nassau County Legislator David Mejias is walked Former Nassau County Legislator David Mejias is walked out of Nassau Police headquarters to be arraigned in Mineola. (Sept. 2, 2010) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Former Nassau Legis. David Mejias, accused of using his Cadillac to tailgate, repeatedly chase and cut off his ex-girlfriend's Land Rover as she drove with her boyfriend, was bailed out of jail Thursday.

Mejias, 39, a family-law attorney from Farmingdale who's running to unseat the Republican incumbent in the 6th State Senate District, faces menacing and stalking charges in connection with the Wednesday incident near Piping Rock Road in Matinecock, authorities said.

Soon after Mejias' arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead Thursday, the Democrat, who first was elected in 2003 and was unseated last year, was released on $2,000 bond or $1,000 cash bail. He spent the night in jail on the misdemeanor charges, which also include reckless endangerment. During the arraignment, Mejias pleaded not guilty.

In a statement released by his political campaign, Mejias said he would be completely exonerated of the charges.

"I have nothing to hide," Mejias said in the statement.

At the arraignment, a representative of Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice asked for a special prosecutor to be appointed in the case, her office later said, "due to a personal relationship that exists between the victim, her family and the district attorney."

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The statement did not elaborate on the nature of Rice's relationship.

The altercation began, Mejias' ex-girlfriend, 34, told police, after she rebuffed his text-messaged pleas to call him.

The following is the couple's account, according to statements they gave to investigators:

While driving with her boyfriend, 38, in Matinecock around noon Wednesday, the woman, who told police she dated Mejias "on and off" for about three years, noticed in the rearview mirror that Mejias was tailgating their car.

The couple sped up to lose the former Nassau lawmaker, but he kept following, cutting them off and, according to her boyfriend, chasing them "through the streets into oncoming traffic."

At one point, Mejias allegedly got out of his car, slammed his hands on the hood and unleashed a profanity-laced tirade and called the woman a liar.

Mejias pulled on her car door but the woman was able to drive away.

"Throughout this whole ordeal, I was afraid that we would be run off the road," the boyfriend wrote in the statement to police.

According to court records, Mejias told officers, "Yeah, I was there, but she was chasing me" and "I put my hands on her car because she was coming at me."

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She initially didn't want to press charges, but told detectives she changed her mind and wanted Mejias arrested, court records said.

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She said she'd made that decision "because I am afraid of him and his vindictive nature."

A man at the woman's Locust Valley home said he did not know when she would return.

At a news conference at police headquarters in Mineola, police spokesman Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone said, "We believe the motive behind this is he was trying to keep the relationship going."

With Yamiche Alcindor

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