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Suffolk cop arrested in hit-run that injured motorcyclist in Ronkonkoma

Thomas O'Neill turned himself in to Suffolk County

Thomas O'Neill turned himself in to Suffolk County police officials Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, after he struck and injured a motorcyclist in Ronkonkoma on Sunday and then proceeded to leave the scene of the accident, police said. Credit: SCPD; Chris Sabella

A Suffolk County police officer was arrested Monday and charged with fleeing the scene of a motor vehicle crash that seriously injured a motorcyclist in Ronkonkoma on Sunday.

Thomas O'Neill, 44, of Centereach, surrendered at the Fourth Precinct Monday morning and was charged with leaving the scene of an incident resulting in serious physical injury, a felony, Suffolk police said in a news release. He was suspended without pay.

O'Neill was arraigned Monday in First District Court in Central Islip. A Suffolk jail spokeswoman said he was released about 3:30 p.m. on his own recognizance. No bail was set. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 13 in First District Court in Central Islip.

Charles Giardinello, 40, of Nesconset, was admitted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition Sunday and improved Monday to serious condition. He was riding a motorcycle east on Portion Road, east of Avenue B, and struck a westbound pickup truck that was attempting to turn left into a parking lot about 7:25 p.m., Suffolk County police said. The truck then fled north on Avenue B, police said.

O'Neill was off duty at the time of the crash, police said. He voluntarily submitted to a blood test, which was administered by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner and will be analyzed for alcohol and drugs, police said.

Police said O'Neill provided the pickup involved in the crash and consented to a search and forensic analysis of the vehicle.

O'Neill was assigned to the Community Response Bureau and was hired as a police officer in 2003. Last year, he earned $144,399, including salary and overtime. O'Neill could not be immediately reached for comment. A message for Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association president Noel DiGerolamo was not returned.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Edward Webber had no immediate comment on the arrest Monday night, police said.

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