Holtsville man pleads guilty to stealing vehicle with baby inside

Holtsville man pleads guilty to stealing vehicle with baby inside

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Paul Ludeman

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on April 27 that Paul Ludeman, 56, of Holtsville, pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Driving While Ability Impaired, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, after he stole a vehicle while there was a 14-month-old sleeping baby inside.

“This defendant had absolutely no regard for the law or anyone, for that matter, when he stole a vehicle with a baby in the backseat while under the influence of alcohol,” said District Attorney Tierney. “This could have ended in a tragedy, but luckily the child’s grandmother and a Good Samaritan were able to get the child out of the vehicle before this defendant crashed into the guardrail. This blatant disregard for the public’s safety was thoughtless and now the defendant is going back to prison.”

According to the investigation and the defendant’s admissions during his plea allocution, on February 14 Ludeman stole a vehicle with an infant inside and drove away while his ability to drive was impaired by his consumption of alcohol. Despite Ludeman’s attempt to flee from the owner of the vehicle and the police, the infant’s grandmother, along with a good Samaritan, were able to follow Ludeman and get the 14-month-old child out of the vehicle without injury, before Ludeman continued to flee and eventually crash the vehicle into a guardrail in Greenport.

On April 25, Ludeman pleaded guilty before Acting County Court Judge, the Honorable James McDonaugh, to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a Class D felony, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a Class A misdemeanor, and Driving While Ability Impaired, an Unclassified Misdemeanor. At the time of his plea, Judge McDonaugh set bail on Ludeman in the amount of $250,000 cash, $500,000 bond, or $1 million partially secured bond.

Ludeman is due back in court for sentencing on May 30, 2023, where he is expected to be ordered to serve two to four years in prison. He is being represented by the Legal Aid Society.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Tara O’Donnell of the Major Crime Bureau.page2image29264944