MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Who would throw bricks, rocks, and cinder blocks from a parkway overpass onto innocent drivers below?
Two Long Island teens are on trial for the heinous crime that nearly killed motorists just before New Year’s of 2016, but they’ve been adamant that cops got the wrong guys.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, a 24-year-old Hempstead college student and nanny took the stand in the harrowing case that nearly cost her, her life just after Christmas.
Brianna Rios tearfully told a jury of her unimaginable pain.
“The brick narrowly missed killing us,” she said.
When she and her boyfriend Ryan Civitello of Island Park drove northbound on the Meadowbrook Parkway, heavy concrete paving slabs were intentionally thrown from an overpass near Kellenberg High School hitting three cars.
Police said that suspects stood on the railing and heaved bricks over the fence 20 feet down.
One exploded through the windshield of their BMW — “like a projectile,” prosecutors said. It shattered glass and permanently damaged Rios’ right cornea.
Prosecutors told jurors they tracked two teen suspects from a nearby McDonald’s to the Meadowbrook overpass where they said witnesses identified Jacob Palante of Syosset, and Andrew Denton of East Meadow.
The duo pleaded not guilty and demanded a trial claiming police arrested the wrong teenagers.
“You hear these witnesses testifying and they admit to lying,’ defense attorney Ed Galison said, “I don’t take cases unless I feel I can win.”
If found guilty of felony assault, criminal mischief, and reckless endangerment, Denton and Palante face 5 to 25 years in prison.