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ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

Categories: | Author: sheriff sheriff | Posted: 11/21/2011 | Views: 5952
Yesterday at approximately 1:00 p.m. at the Riverhead 7-11 on Old Country Road, Deputy Sheriffs Howard and Patterson observed a 1997 green Chevy parked with the engine running, windows closed, and a woman slumped over the wheel.  As the Deputy Sheriffs approached the vehicle they noticed that a 5-week-old baby had been placed unsecured in a car seat in the rear of the vehicle.  The Deputies attempted to wake the operator of the vehicle, Rabia DiMarcantonio, age 33, of Riverhead, by banging on the car windows.  Ms. DiMarcantonio, who had been sound asleep, woke up and opened the window. Ms. DiMarcantonio stated that she had taken methadone, which caused her to fall asleep, and that it happened once before.

The Deputies removed Ms. DiMarcantonio from the vehicle and gave her a field sobriety test, which she failed, and she was placed under arrest.  It was later ascertained by patrons in the 7-11 that the woman had been asleep for approximately 40 minutes.  Ms.  DiMarcantonio was charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle While Ability was Impaired by Drugs, and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the 1st degree, both felonies.  In addition, she was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a misdemeanor, and given two uniform traffic tickets.  The Deputy Sheriffs impounded the vehicle and contacted Child Protective Services.

An arrest record revealed that Ms. DiMarcantonio had six previous arrests, one of which was for Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  The Deputies contacted the father who responded to take custody of the infant.  Ms. DiMarcantonio was arraigned in Riverhead Justice Court and held on $1,000 cash bail.  She is to return to court on May 2nd.

Sheriff Vincent F. DeMarco stated, “As sad as this situation was, it could have ended tragically if the Deputy Sheriffs did not take action when they did.  I sincerely hope that this time Ms. DiMarcantonio gets the help she needs”.

Photo available on request.

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