The mother of a Commack man claims he died in a July 2013 car crash because Suffolk County police did not arrest him earlier that night for driving drunk after a crash.
Kathi Fedden claims in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Central Islip on Monday that police had Peter Fedden's car towed to a nearby schoolyard and then drove him home, even though he was "severely intoxicated" and visibly injured.
Suffolk County police said in a statement Tuesday night that they don't comment on pending litigation. County officials also could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.storyCops: Driver dies after crashing into buildingstoryCommack Breakfast owner, 29, dies
After police dropped him off, Fedden, the owner of a popular local deli where cops were known to receive big discounts, drove off in one of the three cars parked in his driveway, according to the lawsuit. He crashed in Hauppauge minutes later after driving at speeds over 100 mph and died, the complaint says.
The lawsuit also names the Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Commack as being responsible for Fedden's intoxication. According to the complaint, Fedden, 29, started the night of July 30, 2013, at 9:30 p.m. at the Ruby Tuesday's bar. There, he was served two of "his usual beverage" -- about 10 ounces of Jack Daniel's whiskey in a 16-ounce glass with a splash of soda and ice -- before he left the bar about 11 p.m. with another male customer, the suit says.
A spokesman for Ruby Tuesday could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
From there, they drove directly around the corner to Fedden's deli, Commack Breakfast, where they were met by a female bartender, the lawsuit says. Together, they smoked marijuana, the lawsuit says.
Soon after, the three left in Fedden's car to pick up more marijuana, the suit says. Fedden was driving "in excess of 90 miles per hour" and about 11:30 p.m., they crashed. His car went across two lawns, through a fence and into a parked car, which then spun into a home in Commack, causing $10,000 worth of damage, the complaint says.
At least seven Suffolk police officers responded, but no photographs or witness statements were taken, the complaint says. After the two passengers said they weren't hurt, officers told them to "get the hell out of here," and put Fedden in the back of a police car, the complaint says.
"Peter served many Suffolk County police officers at his deli, and it was known throughout the local officers that Peter charged only $1 for officers to eat at the deli no matter what they ordered," the lawsuit says.
The officers dropped Fedden off at his home, where three cars were parked outside, the suit says. Fedden went inside, urinated, then got in his mother's car and left, the suit says. He crashed minutes later, just after midnight, the suit says.
"The Suffolk County police at scene #1 conspired to avoid charging Peter with any crimes due to their knowledge of Peter and his generosity to them through his deli, which they frequented," the lawsuit says.
"The defendants carelessly disregarded Peter's safety . . . and actually created the events leading to Peter's wrongful death," the suit says.
The lawsuit seeks $130 million in damages. Kathi Fedden's attorney, Harry M. Thomasson of Wantagh, could not be reached Tuesday night.