Suffolk dispatcher faces DWI charge in fatal crash
A Suffolk County emergency services dispatcher is accused of drunken driving and killing a pedestrian.
Police say James Fitzpatrick, 37, struck Robert Fornasier, 63, just after midnight on Suffolk Avenue in Central Islip. Fornasier had been crossing the street.
Fitzpatrick was arraigned on a DWI charge Friday afternoon.
In court, prosecutors say Fitzpatrick admitted to police that he had been drinking before the crash. They say he did consent to a blood test, but those results are not yet available.
"He had a couple of drinks a couple of hours beforehand. He is a big man. I doubt that would make his blood alcohol content rise to a level that would be criminal," says William Sammis, Fitzpatrick's attorney.
Sammis says his client has been a volunteer firefighter and member of the ambulance corps in Central Islip for the last two decades.
It was not immediately clear if Fitzpatrick would face upgraded charges. He is due back in court on Nov. 19.