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Police: Unauthorized driver slams tow truck into Melville synagogue

Edward Stanchio, 48, told police he swerved to

Edward Stanchio, 48, told police he swerved to avoid an animal Friday morning, Sept. 2, 2016, just before the tow truck he was driving slammed into the Temple Beth Torah at 35 Bagatelle Rd. in Melville. Credit: SCPD

A Farmingdale man formerly employed by a 24-hour towing service didn’t have permission to use the truck he crashed into a Melville synagogue Friday morning when swerving to avoid an animal, Suffolk County police said.

Edward Stanchio, 48, told police he swerved to avoid an animal when he drove a 1999 GMC tow truck into the Temple Beth Torah, 35 Bagatelle Rd., about 5:30 a.m.

Stanchio, of Garity Place, was not injured.

He was arrested on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration and operating a vehicle at an unreasonable and imprudent speed.

The building was extensively damaged, and the building inspector and engineer for the Town of Huntington responded, police said.

The owner of Eddie’s 24-Hour Towing in Deer Park told police Stanchio, a former employee, did not have his permission to use the truck, according to a news release.

Stanchio will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip at a later date, the release said.

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