MINEOLA - A retired NYPD officer pleaded not guilty today in a hit-and-run that killed a special-needs teen.
Michael Elardo allegedly struck 13-year-old Bryanna Soplin as she crossed Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown. He is accused of driving off after hitting her, but claims he thought he hit a traffic cone.
In court Thursday, prosecutors said they have credible evidence that Elardo was drinking at two separate locations before the accident.
Elardo faces up to seven years behind bars if he's convicted.
Prosecutors asked the judge to increase Elardo's bail, which had been lowered earlier this week by an appellate court. While the judge did not increase his bail, he did order Elardo to surrender his passport.
The case is due back in court next month.