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Driver charged in fatal hit-and-run held on $500,000 bail

Cosmin Florea, 34, of Baldwin, was arraigned on

Cosmin Florea, 34, of Baldwin, was arraigned on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 on an indictment that charged he killed a man while driving drunk and high on marijuana last August, prosecutors said. Credit: NCPD

A driver charged with fatally hitting a father of two in Port Washington late Friday before fleeing the scene was ordered held on $500,000 bail Sunday.

Dressed in a purple button-down shirt and jeans, defendant Cosmin V. Florea, 34, of Baldwin, did not speak during his arraignment before Judge Tricia Ferrell at First District Court in Hempstead.

Florea is charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatality, both felonies, and driving while intoxicated in the death of Donald C. Mooney Jr., 49, of Lynbrook, a dispatcher for a Port Washington limousine service.

While Assistant District Attorney Christine Nugent asked for $100,000 bail, Ferrell quintupled that amount, ordering Florea held on $500,000 cash bail or bond.

The criminal complaint against Florea said he consented to a breath test, which showed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.13 percent -- over the legal limit of 0.08 percent -- about three hours after the collision.

Florea told a Nassau County police officer that he had started drinking at around 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. on Friday after eating sushi, having two shots and a beer before calling it quits around 12:30 a.m., according to the complaint.

Mooney had been crossing Main Street east of South Bayles Avenue for a cup of coffee shortly before midnight when Florea struck him with his black 2010 Ford Fusion, Mooney's family and authorities said.

Nassau County police said Florea left the scene after the collision.

According to police, Florea was pulled over in Queens by NYPD officers about 45 minutes after the crash.

When questioned about the front-end and windshield damage to his car, Florea told police that he had "hit a deer in Port Washington," the complaint read.

Port Washington police then went to Queens and arrested Florea.

Florea's attorney, Yolanda Guerre of the Nassau Legal Aid Society, said her client has lived in Baldwin for the past 15 years and works as graphic designer in Port Washington to support a 13-year-old child.

A man and woman, identified by Guerre as Florea's father and mother, were present in court, but the two declined to speak to reporters afterward.

Mooney also worked in coffee sales in Manhattan and had picked up a second job dispatching for the limo company, his mother, Patricia Mooney, had told Newsday. Mooney, who was divorced, had an adult daughter and son.

In addition to issuing bail, Ferrell also suspended Florea's license. He is due back in court on Wednesday.

With Darran Simon

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