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Detective reported drinking before Nassau hit-and-run

William Kaul pleaded guilty last week to causing

William Kaul pleaded guilty last week to causing a crash while he was on duty in his unmarked police car in 2010, then fleeing the scene. Photo Credit: NCPD

Billy, as he introduced himself to the bartender at Edison's Ale House in Manhasset, spent hours on Jan. 2 being served tap beers and making small talk at the pub, the bartender, Megan Heinemann, told Nassau police.

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Billy then went to drink beer at another bar, TR's Great American in Williston Park, said a worker, Patricia Agro, in a statement to police.

"Billy was jovial and happy when he came in," she said.

Billy, police said, is Det. Sgt. William E. Kaul, a Nassau County Sixth Squad supervisor who authorities say was drinking Jan. 2 at the pubs while on duty and afterward hit another car at 9:13 p.m., injured its driver and then drove away.

Kaul had been at Edison's between about 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and at TR's for about 15 minutes starting between 8 and 8:30 p.m., the bar employees told police Internal Affairs Unit detectives, who investigated and later arrested Kaul.

Kaul, 48, who has been suspended without pay, was charged Wednesday with five misdemeanor counts, including leaving the scene of an accident, official misconduct and obstructing government administration, court records show.

None of the bar employees whose police statements are in court records saw him get into a car and he isn't charged with driving while intoxicated.

His attorney, Robert Brunetti of Mineola, said Kaul has pleaded not guilty and that he expects his client to be exonerated.

Investigators said the crash happened Jan. 2 on the Long Island Expressway's westbound service road near New Hyde Park Road in North Hills. They said Kaul's unmarked police car rear-ended a Chrysler convertible disabled on the side of the road with its hazard lights on, then drove away.

The Chrysler driver, John P. Sullivan, suffered back, neck and leg injuries during the impact, which sent the car onto the sidewalk and into a tree.

Soon after the crash, Kaul refused a superior officer's orders to stay put and insisted he was going home and he "was not taking a test."

More than eight hours after the crash, Kaul was not intoxicated when investigators from Internal Affairs found Kaul at his Scarsdale home at about 5:30 a.m., department spokesman Det. Lt. Kevin Smith said.

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