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An Ozone Park man was convicted last week of reckless endangerment, vehicular assault, driving while intoxicated and other charges stemming from what Queens District Attorney Richard Brown called a “terrifying ride on the Long Island Expressway” in 2006.
Anthony Rampino, 35, of 103-17 90th St. in Ozone Park, was driving his 2002 Chrysler convertible with the roof down at speeds up to 100 mph while under the influence on the Long Island Expressway near Flushing Meadows Corona Park July 25, 2006, the DA said.
A man was sitting in the front passenger seat and three women in the back passenger seat with another three women sitting on the their laps when Rampino ignored the women’s pleas to slow down and stop weaving in and out of traffic, instead just raising the volume on the car’s radio, Brown said.
Rampino eventually crashed into two mediansand then fled the scene of the accident on foot, the DA said.
One of the passengers was ejected from the convertible and thrown across three lanes of traffic, the DA said. She suffered severe abrasions on her arms, shoulders and face and had to have reconstructive surgery on her knees, Brown said.
Another woman suffered a broken pelvis, while the other four women were all treated at local hospitals for various back injuries and lacerations, the DA said.
“The defendant’s reckless actions left several of his passengers with severe injuries,” the DA said in a statement. “It is a miracle that he did not cause the death of any of his passengers or other motorists on the road that night. This dangerous behavior cannot be tolerated and must be dealt with severely.”
An off-duty police officer saw Rampino leave the scene of the accident and chased him, eventually finding the defendant walking in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Brown said.
Rampino was arrested and taken to the 112th Precinct, where an Intoxilyzer exam was administered which indicated his blood-alcohol level to be .10, above the legal limit of .08.
He was convicted Dec. 10 of reckless endangerment, vehicular assault, driving while intoxicated, speeding, leaving the scene of an accident, driving without insurance and driving without a license after a two-week jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder, Brown said.
Rampino faces up to seven years in prison when he is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 23. He has been remanded without bail until the sentencing.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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