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Man in Critical Condition After Larkfield Police Chase

Police collide with a man on a moped after pursuing him down Larkfield Road on Friday afternoon.

34-year-old Juan Santoro is in critical condition after colliding with a Suffolk County Police car on Larkfield Road in East Northport on Friday.

According to a police statement, Santoro was riding a moped down Larkfield at 30 mph when two police cars attempted to pull him over for erratic driving. Santoro allegedly refused, and was followed by the squad cars for an unspecified distance until he collided with one of the cars just south of 7th Avenue around 5:50 p.m. 

Santoro was thrown from his moped into a utility pole, sustaining serious injuries. He was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center where he is in critical condition.

Both the moped and the police cruiser were impounded to the Suffolk County Police Impound Yard in Westhampton, where a safety check will be conducted.

Santoro was charged with DWI and reckless driving, and was issued numerous traffic citations. An arraignment has not been scheduled.

Detectives are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash to contact the Second Squad at 631-854-8252 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.  

Stay with Patch for updates on this breaking story.

Lisa Lasker October 09, 2011 at 12:07 PM
I know there were more than two cars but can I be absolutely positive that only two were "chasing" him and the others just tagged along to see what was happening...absolutely not. Bottom line is that he took off, moped or not, and he had been drinking. He could have hit a pedestrian crossing the road. He could have seriously injured himself without police involvement.  What the officers did in my opinion was not over the top. They were trying to get this man off the road to protect others. Once again, had he just stopped when asked to originally none of us would have an article to comment on.
NPTGirl October 09, 2011 at 12:08 PM
and yes, he was charged with DWI.............
NPTGirl October 09, 2011 at 12:09 PM
I would certainly hope that my kids-if they had been on that moped-would pull over for the police.
Lisa Lasker October 09, 2011 at 12:15 PM
Instead of condemning the police for doing their jobs & doing them WELL, how about a shout out to the response time of the EMT's. They were there in seconds. In my opinion, kudos to all who were involved. A very unfortunate situation that was handled professionally.
FYI October 09, 2011 at 04:33 PM
The official police statement reads the moped operator was doing 30 miles per hour. That's driving "very fast and putting everyone in danger"? Really now, the guy should have stopped and he was intoxicated (not known at the time). I support the police as long as they play by the rules THEY are supposed to be adhering to. If the police car is determined to purposely have rammed the moped, it would appear to be poor decision making on the p.o's part. If the moped hit the police car, that's no fault of the p.o. I just hope that a fair and thorough investigation takes place to determine if the police officer was acting with good judgement and not acting as judge, jury and possibly executioner. Whether this was handled professionally is unknown at this point and as you did not witness the event, your opinion has no basis in fact. The emts always do a great job and deserve credit, agreed.
Necker October 09, 2011 at 06:32 PM
You cannot hit into a MOPED with a car and think that the driver is not going to come out with irreparable damage. The moped used poor judgment but did NOT deserve to be injured inthis capacity. If this is the case, there should be alot of answering to do on behalf of that SCP officer.
Necker October 09, 2011 at 06:38 PM
Maybe he was intoxicated but the police are paid servants and need to adhere to proper protocol. It doesn't sound like ramming a man off of a moped with a motor vehicle follows any type of protocol to me. Maybe they should have shot him instead. They are there to enforce the law and make sure that everybody is safe -- including the drunk driver!!!!! Using poor judgment does not add up to severe brain damage, sorry.
twocents October 10, 2011 at 05:26 PM
Personally, don't give a roootie patootie what mr drunk got. That is the definition of a drunk: totally incapable of intelligent thought in many cases. For those who don't think this fellow was a danger, what happens when he hits Jericho Turnpike? (assuming he was heading south.). You really think he is going to obey a traffic light? If he decided to cross without the benefit of a green light (strong possibility) try and imagine the nightmare scenario that would likely ensue. Then the headline would read "Three people killed, one a child by drunk on moped." prefer that? Someone is on a vehicle, or in a vehicle and it is weaving all over the place I think most folk can make some logical deductions about the state of the driver. It is unfortunate the schmuck went into the pole. Maybe he'll think twice before he loads up. Or else he'll have more to get drunk over.
Cathy October 11, 2011 at 09:13 AM
The police have many big egos in amongst them. How many times do inncoent people get hurt in a police chase by the police? Maybe the correct thing was for the police to back off the guy, and then get him. Hitting someone on a moped with a lethal weapon (a car), is wrong. Where are those things they roll out to puncture tires? Why not block his path with police cars? I am sure the investigation the police do do, will err on their side
Necker October 11, 2011 at 10:08 AM
I agree with you. Also, the man was only going 30 mph which is what everybody does on that road. It was a big assumption of the officer that the man was drunk. How did they not know that he was a diabetic with low blood sugar or was sufferng from some other medical situation. 30 mph and weaving does not constitute getting a police car ramped into you. We can put men on the moon but we can't stop a moped safely without severe brain injury!
Richard Riccoboni October 11, 2011 at 10:53 PM
The officers side of the story seems fantastic and defies physics. Based on the indesputable facts in the accident I assessed the same story given by the witness before I ever got to their statement. It's absurd that these Long Island police are allowed to fabricate and distort the truth and their word is still held higher than the pope's when they get to the witness stand. Like when the taxi driver who was shot by off duty police officers at the huntington train station. They alleged the driver was attempting to run them over when they opened fire and wounding the driver. If that's the case then why was the officers gun found in the cabs back seat. How do you shoot the front of someone's car and drop your gun in their back seat? can you tell me how a badge gives a person the ability to bend the laws of physics.
Richard Riccoboni October 11, 2011 at 11:06 PM
so because he broke the laws it gives those tasked with upholding the law the right to break it? These officers used deadly force to apprehend a suspect of minimal threat. It's like throwing a kid in the oven for pulling the fire alarm.
Cat October 11, 2011 at 11:19 PM
Correct.
Cat October 11, 2011 at 11:23 PM
If he hit your kids, maybe killed one. Or hit your Mon, maybe killed her, would you still be some damm complacent????
Cat October 11, 2011 at 11:23 PM
Unfortunately correct.
Leah Bush (Editor) October 11, 2011 at 11:33 PM
Making personal attacks against people violates our terms of service. Everyone please keep your comments in check or I will have to delete them.
Cat October 11, 2011 at 11:40 PM
Nice.
Cat October 11, 2011 at 11:42 PM
Sanity!
Cat October 11, 2011 at 11:45 PM
Another delusional Einstein.
Cat October 11, 2011 at 11:45 PM
Sanity at last.
Cat October 11, 2011 at 11:47 PM
Look at it this way, your kids are playing in the street. Here comes the drunk on the moped. He hit two of your kids. Now what do you write???
Cat October 11, 2011 at 11:51 PM
Spike strips!!! Even better, maybe the cops could have shot the key out of the moped dash, or the bottle out of his hand. Or shot him in the foot when he ran. Or shot the gun out of his hand as he aimed it at you, Cathy. Or maybe, since you have expressed such an opinion, they won't shoot at all when a robber has a gun to your head, and, bye, bye Cathy.
Cat October 11, 2011 at 11:52 PM
Yeah, but they assumed correctly, he was DWI. They were right and you, probably as usual, were wrong/,
Cat October 11, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Oh humanity, where for art thou sanity and maturity here on L.I. Good night, the Cat.
Cat October 12, 2011 at 12:00 AM
Please be brave and take your story public. If it's as you say, it's important. If you erred, they will catch you. The number is right below here.
Necker October 12, 2011 at 01:27 AM
It is NICE to have an educated, concise opinion, unlike yours.
Necker October 12, 2011 at 01:30 AM
P.S Cat for a person with such strong convictions, you should learn how to spell. It would make your opinion a little more convincing.
Necker October 12, 2011 at 01:58 AM
Certainly not picking fights, just replying to them. If you only knew how ridiculous you sounded, you would laugh at yourself. The laughs on you!
Cat October 14, 2011 at 02:20 AM
The Police are the real criminals.
Rick Neems October 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM
Well said Cat...Cathy obviously watches too many episodes of COPS....Had the the police "backed off" and then "got him", whats to say he didn't hit some poor unsuspecting person walking up Larkfield road? This person obviously wasn't thinking rationally when he decided it was a good idea to drive a moped DWI. Whats to say he wouldn't have pulled out a weapon and fatally wounded the officers or some innocent victim as they nonchalantly coerced him off his moped. I recommend you think your though process through a little more before you make such uneducated comments. These men and women of the SCPD put their lives on the line day in and day out for us. Lets give em the respect they deserve!

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