Hard Time For Reckless Endangerment

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Syosset man gets five years for throwing bricks from overpass

Jacob Palant

Jacob Palant was recently sentenced to five years in prison for throwing cinderblocks and paving bricks onto the Meadowbrook Parkway, striking a car and causing permanent injury to woman who was a passenger in a vehicle, in December 2015.

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that the Syosset man was convicted by a jury on May 17, 2017, of first-degree assault (a B violent felony), two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment (a D felony), second-degree assault (a D violent felony) and three counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief (an A misdemeanor). The trial before Acting Supreme Court Justice Meryl Berkowitz started May 1, 2017 and the jury deliberated for approximately a day and a half. Co-defendant Andrew Denton was sentenced on Aug. 21 to 10 years in prison.

“Jacob Palant and Andrew Denton endangered lives by throwing paving stones and cinderblocks at passing vehicles from a highway overpass,” Singas said. “People could have been killed from this depraved behavior and it is a miracle that only one young woman suffered permanent injuries due to their actions. These crimes will not be tolerated in Nassau County”

According to Singas, on two occasions on Dec. 26, 2015, the defendants threw paving bricks and cinderblocks at cars from a Meadowbrook Parkway overpass bridge in Uniondale. Despite the fact that the overpass has high fences curved inward at the top to prevent this kind of criminal behavior, the defendants used extraordinary efforts to thwart these protections. During the first incident in the afternoon, the defendants did not hit any of the vehicles they targeted. It was during the second incident, at approximately 8 p.m., that the defendants struck two vehicles—a BMW and a Jeep—with bricks.

The BMW was the first car hit and it was driven by a 21-year-old man with his girlfriend, who were traveling northbound on the Meadowbrook to go out to dinner. Without warning, a paving brick smashed through the windshield, snapping off the rear-view mirror and shattering glass all over the vehicle. The brick just missed the driver’s head but the shattered glass permanently damaged the left eye of the 23-year old female passenger in the vehicle and lacerated her lip. The victim has a permanent scar on her cornea, cannot drive at night and suffers from blurry vision in that eye. The driver of the BMW also suffered a laceration to his shoulder and shoulder pain from where the brick struck him.

In the second incident, a 23-year-old woman was driving a Jeep to her sister’s home when it was struck on the roof and side of the car, narrowly missing the windshield. The Jeep sustained approximately $5,000 in damages.

Following an investigation, New York State Police arrested the defendants on Jan. 1, 2016. Senior Assistant District Attorneys Stefanie Palma and Diana Hedayati of DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau prosecuted this case.

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