A Seaford 15-year-old has unveiled his Eagle Scout project: a memorial gazebo, garden and plaque in honor of slain federal agent John Capano.
Standing in front of the white gazebo in Washington Avenue Park in Seaford, Cory Levy told the crowd of more than 100 early Saturday that he often visited the park when he was younger, and it was where he always wanted to do his Eagle Scout project.
Two years ago, he said, he came up with the idea for the gazebo surrounded by a garden. He said one of his scoutmasters suggested making it a memorial garden.
"The next question was 'for whom?' " Levy said. He said he starting thinking about someone who's a "role model . . . and someone who is strong, brave and would give their life for the benefit of others."
"The first person I thought of was John," he said. Capano, whom Levy never met, grew up in Seaford.
His wife, Dori, and the couple's two children, John and Natalie, attended yesterday's ceremony.
Capano, 51, of Massapequa, died attempting to stop a robbery at a Seaford pharmacy on Dec. 31, 2011. He was filling a prescription when a man tried to rob Charlie's Family Pharmacy in Seaford.
The 23-year ATF veteran thwarted the robbery, but was shot in a friendly-fire incident by a retired Nassau police lieutenant who had been next door at a diner when he was notified about the robbery. Capano was shot as he struggled with the suspect just outside the pharmacy. The robbery suspect was also killed.
Several elected officials, including Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, attended yesterday's dedication. All congratulated and thanked Levy for his work.
"He did a wonderful job putting together this effort on behalf of a neighbor," Murray said. "We will never forget John, and this memorial will always serve as a reminder of his heroism in protecting his beloved neighborhood and fellow citizens."
Susan Siesto, 54, of Massapequa, said she had known Capano since they were teenagers.
"It is just amazing to me all these years later that he has not been forgotten because of how he lived," Siesto said.