Michael Elardo pleads guilty to fatal hit-and-run that killed teen Bryanna Soplin in Levittown

A retired NYPD officer pleaded guilty today and apologized to the victim’s family for a hit-and-run that killed a girl with Down syndrome. Police say

Police say Michael Elardo struck and killed 13-year-old

Police say Michael Elardo struck and killed 13-year-old Bryanna Soplin on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown two months ago. Police believe the teen with Down syndrome was trying to walk to her grandparents’ house. (Credit: News 12)

LEVITTOWN - A retired NYPD officer pleaded guilty today and apologized to the victim’s family for a hit-and-run that killed a girl with Down syndrome.

Police say Michael Elardo struck and killed 13-year-old Bryanna Soplin on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown two months ago. Police believe the teen was trying to walk to her grandparents’ house.

The 48-year-old says he believed he hit a traffic cone when driving on Hempstead Turnpike at Gardiners Avenue in June. Elardo pleaded guilty in court to the charge of leaving the scene of an incident and agreed to 1 1/3 to 4 years behind bars.

“I hope and I pray that they can find some closure today with me admitting I'm guilty,” Elardo said in court.

Soplin’s family said they would have liked a harsher punishment, but they are glad Elardo took responsibility.

Prosecutors say red-light cameras proved the traffic light was yellow when the accident happened. However, they say Elardo’s blood alcohol level can never be known.

Both Nassau and Suffolk district attorneys are working for tougher punishments in hit-and-run cases. They believe a person should not get the benefit of a lesser charge if the driver's blood alcohol level cannot be proven.

Elardo will officially be sentenced on Oct. 17.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Nassau Police say they arrested a 23-year-old man 1 Police: Uber driver beaten unconscious by passenger
According to police, a neighbor spotted Pedro Serrano 2 2 men arrested, accused in Merrick home burglary
If approved, concession stands on the boardwalk 3 Plan to allow alcohol sales on Long Beach boardwalk up for vote
The plan could delay the opening of new 4 Mangano eyes housing at site of new Coliseum
Jupiter Hammon was the first African-American poet to 5 Black History Month: Jupiter Hammon

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Former NYPD cop Michael Elardo is accused of Prosecutors: Suspect was drinking before hit-and-run

A retired NYPD officer pleaded not guilty today in a hit-and-run that killed a special-needs

According to police, 48-year-old Michael Elardo turned himself Retired cop indicted in fatal hit-and-run

A retired NYPD officer accused in a hit-and-run that killed a teen girl in Levittown

According to police, 48-year-old Michael Elardo turned himself Retired NYPD officer arrested in fatal hit-and-run

Nassau County police have made an arrest in the hit-and-run crash that killed a Levittown

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE