A Suffolk County cop turned himself in this week after allegedly injuring a Nesconset motorcyclist in a hit-and-run crash in Ronkonkoma, authorities said.
Detectives were investigating the Sunday night crash on Portion Road just east of Avenue B, where cops said 40-year-old Charles Giardinello’s motorcycle was struck by a westbound pickup truck trying to make a left into a parking lot around 7:23 p.m., before it fled the scene northbound on Avenue B. By Tuesday morning, Centereach native Thomas O’Neill, 44, submitted to the Suffolk County Police Department and was charged with leaving the scene of an incident resulting in serious physical injury — a class E felony.
Giardinello, a Nesconset resident, was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital after the crash and was listed in critical condition.
O’Neill works as a Suffolk County Police Officer with the Community Response Bureau and has been with the department since 2003, earning $144,399 last year in salary and overtime, SCPD said in a statement. He was off duty at the time of the crash and was suspended without pay. He could not be reached for comment.
He was arraigned Monday in First District Court in Central Islip and was released later in the afternoon on his own recognizance with no bail set, a spokeswoman for the county jail said. The cop’s next court appearance is set for Oct. 13 in Central Islip.
Upon turning himself in to police, O’Neill voluntarily submitted to a blood test, and a physician assistant from the county medical examiner’s office will be analyzing the sample for alcohol and drugs, cops said. The county cop also provided the gray, full-size 4-door truck he was driving at the time of the crash, and consented to a search as well as a forensic analysis of the vehicle, police said.
Calls to the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association were not immediately returned.