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Suffolk police rescue kitten from car engine compartment

Suffolk Emergency Services Unit officers are police specialists who deal with barricaded subjects, hostage rescue, explosive devices. Thursday, their assignment was a kitten trapped inside a car.

For more than two hours, employees at GE Aviation at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma searched unsuccessfully to find the source of the occasional meows coming from a car engine, police said.

Sgt. Andrew Sangermano of the police Airport Operations Section said the frustrated searchers finally called 911 shortly before 5 p.m. and he responded.

"It was a 2007 Hyundai Sonata," Sangermano said. "The hood was open, and there was a gentleman under it looking underneath." They had unscrewed parts under the car, and about eight or 10 people there were searching.

"I called Emergency Services," Sangermano said.

Officer Thomas Crist from that police unit arrived and within about 10 minutes he took off a headlight assembly, and found the black and white kitten, which was about 5 weeks old.

The woman who owns the car told police that a neighbor's cat in Mastic had given birth, and she suspected that one of the kittens had climbed into the car's engine compartment sometime before she drove to work in the morning. She did not hear the meowing until she was ready to leave work, Sangermano said.

One of the good Samaritans took the uninjured kitten home, Sangermano said.

Crist, who responded to a stabbing in Brentwood a few hours later, said by telephone that he's been involved in other cat or kitten rescues during his 25 years in Emergency Services. "It's nice to get the kitten rescues and duck rescues," he said. "Those kind of things break up some of the heavier calls, and it makes people happy."

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