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Long IslandNassau

Long Island police blotter


Guilty plea in DWI crash

that hurt cop on parkway

The Farmingdale man who pleaded guilty to drunken driving when he crashed into a New York City police officer will serve between 5 and 10 years in prison.

Luis Toledo-Alvarado, 42, was sentenced by Nassau County Court Judge Steven Jaeger Tuesday to the term. Toledo-Alvarado pleaded guilty Sept. 15 to vehicular assault and drunken-driving charges.

Prosecutors said Toledo-Alvarado crossed the center guardrail into oncoming traffic on the Southern State Parkway, just west of the Nassau Road exit, on Feb. 8 and crashed into a car being driven by NYPD Sgt. Greg Piquette.

The officer was injured with a fractured right hip, left femur and a shattered right heel. He must use a wheelchair.

Toledo-Alvarado's blood alcohol content was .21 percent after the crash, nearly three times the legal limit of .08 percent.

Prosecutors said it was Toledo-Alvarado's fifth conviction.

John Bermingham, Toledo-Alvarado's Garden City-based attorney, said his client suffers from alcoholism and accepts full responsibility for what he did.

"Mr. Toledo-Alvarado is remorseful for any injuries he caused and accepts responsibility for his actions," Bermingham said.


Two teens charged with

arson at high school

Two West Hempstead teens were arrested Monday and charged with two arson fires that damaged West Hempstead High School, police said.

The blazes were captured on a video surveillance system, Nassau police said. They said neither of the teens are students at the school.

The two fires took place on Sept. 5 at 1:20 a.m. and Sept. 18 at 11:30 p.m., according to police.

Both times, police said, the teens set fire to garbage stored next to the school and said the fires caused "windows to shatter and melt."

No one was injured.

Arrested Monday were Christopher Patton, 19, of 369 Plymouth St., and Ezra Horowitz, 18, of 336 James Ct.

They were each charged with fourth-degree and fifth-degree arson.

Police said both teens were issued appearance tickets returnable in First District Court in Hempstead on Nov. 5.


Police name New Jersey

driver killed in crash

Suffolk police have identified the New Jersey man who died in a car accident Monday afternoon in Yaphank.

Joseph Szemcsak, 76, of East Windsor, N.J., was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, where he died after the 4:54 p.m. accident.

Szemcsak had been driving west on Horseblock Road when his 2001 Chevrolet collided with a 2009 Honda driven by Dan Leach, 44, of Quaker Path, Yaphank, police said.

Leach had been driving south on Patchogue-Yaphank Road, County Road 101. He had minor injuries and was taken to a hospital for treatment, authorities said.

Leach's three children, who were also in the car with him, were hospitalized with injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening.

Leach's wife is a Suffolk 911 dispatcher who left work when she found out about the accident, authorities said.

The investigation is continuing.

Detectives ask that anyone who may have witnessed this crash call Suffolk police Fifth Squad detectives at 631-854-8552.

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