Police: Man in stolen tow truck crashes into synagogue

A Farmingdale man is accused of driving a tow truck into a Melville synagogue. Police say Edward Stanchio, 48, swerved to avoid an animal on

Police arrested 48-year-old Edward Stanchio, of Farmingdale, after the crash into Temple Beth Torah in Melville. Police say Stanchio was towing his own SUV with a tow truck stolen from his former employer, Eddie's 24 Hour Towing in Deer Park.

Police arrested 48-year-old Edward Stanchio, of Farmingdale, after the crash into Temple Beth Torah in Melville. Police say Stanchio was towing his own SUV with a tow truck stolen from his former employer, Eddie's 24 Hour Towing in Deer Park. (9/2/16)

MELVILLE - Police say a Farmingdale man who was driving a stolen tow truck was arrested after crashing into a Melville synagogue Friday morning.

Police arrested 48-year-old Edward Stanchio, of Farmingdale, after the crash into Temple Beth Torah in Melville. Police say Stanchio was towing his own SUV with a tow truck stolen from his former employer, Eddie's 24 Hour Towing in Deer Park.

Police say Stanchio was speeding and that he told arriving officers that he had swerved to avoid an animal. Witnesses say Stanchio seemed out of it and claimed he had tried to avoid a wolf or a fox in the road.

As News 12 Long Island has previously reported, Stanchio was arrested in February for allegedly selling heroin to undercover officers. Police say there's no evidence Stanchio was under the influence at the time of the crash.

Workers are still boarding up the building. Officials say repairs will be made shortly and that services and scheduled parties in the catering room will not be affected. 

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