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Crimes Nearby: Mom Sentenced in DWI Crash

Wreck left 3-year-old daughter paralyzed after hitting tree on South Oyster Bay Road.

The following criminal and arrest information was supplied by the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments. It does not indicate a conviction.

Syosset

A Bay Shore woman was sentenced to 3-9 years in prison for driving drunk and crashing into a tree, which caused her 3-year-old to be paralyzed, according to Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

Rice said that on March 7, 2010, Samantha Alfaro, 20, spent the night drinking at her cousin's East Meadow home. About 7:30 a.m. the next morning, Alfaro was seen driving her 1998 Mazda 626LX northbound on South Oyster Bay Road with her daughter in the backseat. , hit the curb and drove along the curb into oncoming traffic before crashing into a tree.

Alfaro’s daughter was secured with only a seatbelt at the time of the crash, not a child’s safety seat. The impact of the crash broke the child’s neck and severed her spine by approximately five inches, leaving her paralyzed and unable to breathe. With immediate medical attention from off-duty fire department personnel, the  medical team and Nassau County Police Department’s Second Precinct and Aviation Bureau, the child was revived. Alfaro suffered leg and ankle injuries, officials said.

According to Rice, officers found the child’s safety seat in the trunk of Alfaro's car. They also found a half-empty bottle of vodka, plastic cups and multiple empty beer bottles inside the car. Alfaro’s mother now has custody of the child, who is now 5 years old.

Alfaro’s blood-alcohol content was .11 nearly an hour after the crash.

Alfaro, pleaded guilty in January to aggravated vehicular assault, aggravated driving while intoxicated and endangering the welfare of a minor.

"Today’s sentence cannot change the heart-breaking impact this defendant’s reckless choice has had on an innocent child," Rice said. "Tragedies like this are why I lobbied so hard for the successful passage of Leandra’s Law. Children deserve every possible level of protection we can provide."

Plainview

Five people manage to distract a and made off with an undetermined amount of jewelry Thursday afternoon, Nassau Police said.

Nassau detectives said five people entered  on Manetto Hill Road near Old Country Road Thursday about 2:45 p.m. and managed to remove assorted jewelry from several display cases.

Detectives said the heist began as two men asked the owner to look at earrings and, in the process, distracted the jeweler. At the same time, three women whose faces were covered in scarves unlocked the display cases and removed assorted jewelry, police said.

All five then bolted from the scene in a light blue Dodge Caravan with an extended roof top, fleeing westbound on Old Country Road. The Caravan had been parked in the jewelry store's parking lot during the heist, and police said two other people were seen inside the van.

No injuries were reported. The value of the jewelry had not been determined.

Detectives ask anyone with information about this crime to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous, police said. 

Huntington

A Centerport man was charged early Sunday with driving while intoxicated after an accident that seriously injured a passenger in his vehicle.

According to police, Richard Heiser, 31, was driving his 2005 Chevrolet truck eastbound on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington when he made a left turn onto Broadway, lost control of the vehicle and struck two utility poles at about 1 a.m.

Jennifer Todero, 34, the only passenger in Heiser’s vehicle, suffered a serious injury to her leg. Todero, of Centerport, was transported to Huntington Hospital, and then transferred to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, where she was admitted in serious condition, according to police.

Heiser was transported to Huntington Hospital with minor injuries, according to police.

Following an investigation by  detectives, Heiser was charged with Driving While Intoxicated, according to police. He is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip Sunday.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is continuing, police say.

Massapequa

Customers using a stolen credit card in the  store on Sunrise Highway were caught on tape last month, according to police who released their images on Monday.

The pictures show two men and a woman who police want to talk to in connection with the theft of a wallet on Nov. 10.

The credit card was taken between 12:40 p.m. and 1:20 p.m. and was used in the Sports Authority and a GameStop store on Sunrise Highway in Copiague.

Anyone with information on the suspects should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS (8477).  All calls will are confidential.

Joe Dowd (Editor) December 23, 2011 at 01:14 AM
This is a terrible, tragic story. What should be done to strengthen DWI laws and public awareness of the problem?
Simba December 23, 2011 at 01:32 AM
As long as their are bars and clubs that people go to, you are going to have DWI's. No one walks to these places, everyone drives. Maybe if you had a security officer breath test everyone leaving the club.......but that's not going to happen. Best bet is to have breath test to start every car (part of the starter).......and that's not going to happen either.

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