A Huntington man who was arrested in Bay Shore Thursday after a police officer saw him give an underage youth a beer says he made a mistake that could destroy his reputation.
Michael Oromaner, 43, of 23 Old Northport Rd., faces a charge of endangering the welfare of a child after he gave a 15-year-old boy an unopened bottle of beer at a Gulf gas station at 195 Pine Aire Dr. at about 6:45 p.m., police said.
Oromaner was arrested and later released from the Third Precinct and will appear at First District Court in Central Islip on Oct. 5.
On Friday, Oromaner called his decision a bad one and worried it could adversely affect his reputation as an independent stockbroker.
"All over television and in the news, there's this story of a guy giving a kid a beer," he said. "This will hurt me financially, hurt my reputation."
Oromaner pleaded guilty earlier this year to driving while impaired by drugs, records show. Police said he was driving a commercial vehicle on the Northern State Parkway in Westbury in January when he was stopped by a State Police officer who detected a strong owner of marijuana. Oromaner was arrested after failing sobriety tests.
The latest incident began with Oromaner entering the gas station and the youth sitting with two girls on a nearby curb, Oromaner said.
Almost immediately, the boy asked him for money, he said.
"He kept asking me if I had a dollar, begging," Oromaner said. "He was saying, 'Give me a dollar, give me a dollar.' "
Oromaner said he tried to ignore the youth, who again asked him for money as he walked from the station with the beer. Oromaner said "he kept pestering me and followed me back to my truck."
Oromaner said he told the youth again he did not have any money and tried to ignore him.
"But I felt molested by him, honestly, that's how I felt," he said.
When the youth asked for a beer, Oromaner said he gave him the bottle to "basically, get rid of him."
Oromaner said he did not know police were in the parking lot. But police said a uniformed officer in a marked car was in the lot, a few feet away, watching the incident.
Suffolk Sgt. Karen Ryan said uniformed Officer Joseph Bianco was in plain sight, in a parked marked patrol car.
Ryan said when the teenager took the beer bottle, "His eyes popped open wide, and he turned around and looked at the police officer with his eyes and mouth wide open."
Oromaner said the youth told him he was 18; police said the boy was 15.
According to Ryan, Oromaner told officers after his arrest, "He asked me for a dollar and I gave him a beer. I'm so sorry. I wasn't thinking."
With Bill Mason