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Long IslandCrime

Cops: Amityville man crashes car into backyard, punches trooper

New York State police investigate a crash near

New York State police investigate a crash near the westbound Southern State Parkway. Police said the driver was arrested on nearby Foxglove Road in North Merrick on Monday, March 20, 2017. Credit: Bill Kelly

An Amityville man crashed his vehicle Monday into a backyard, then socked a state trooper who asked him if he was all right, State Police said.

Closing his fist, Eventz J. Francois, 26, punched the trooper in his left eye and was taken into custody with the help of bystanders on Foxglove Road in North Merrick, police said.

Francois had crashed his vehicle about 9:45 a.m. on Southern State Parkway, just east of Exit 24, which is Merrick Avenue.

His vehicle landed upside down against trees and the chain-link fence just feet from the garage of the Castellano family. The family didn’t know at first what had happened because they couldn’t see the car from their kitchen window.

“My dad was going to go outside to see what was going on because we saw some trees fall,” said Scott Castellano, 23, who was at the kitchen table with his father.

Castellano said he saw a bloodied man running around the yard, looking for a way out. The son told his father to stay inside and he retrieved a baseball bat.

The driver ran down the driveway, then up and down Foxglove Road, and back into the family’s backyard, Castellano said. “He left quite a blood trail throughout our block, my dad’s car and our fence,” he said.

That was when the state trooper hopped over the backyard fence and fought Francois, who was eventually pinned down by the officer and three neighbors, Castellano said.

Police said the trooper asked the driver if he was OK, then was punched. The driver and the trooper were taken to a hospital.

Francois was charged with assault on a police officer, second-degree assault, two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief, resisting arrest, second-degree obstructing governmental administration and driving while ability impaired by drugs.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Nassau County First District Court.

Castellano, an accountant who is in between jobs, called the trooper and his neighbors “heroes,” and said he was amazed that no one was hurt by the debris when the car crashed, which damaged the family’s garage and a neighbor’s house.

“The spare tire came out from under his car, flew over my garage, hit my neighbor’s house and ricocheted and hit my dad’s car,” Castellano said. “His muffler and tailpipe landed in our backyard, inches from the kitchen window where my dad was sitting. It was crazy. That was a hell of a ride that tire took.”

State police ask witnesses to contact them 631-756-3300.


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