MOUNT KISCO, N.Y.—The incidents in which two state troopers hit pedestrians with their patrol cars on two consecutive days in January 2012 were officially declared accidents by police investigators, Newsday reported.
Mount Kisco residents were puzzled earlier this year by the similar incidents that occurred within a day of one another. At the time, Mount Kisco police did not file any criminal charges against troopers Sgt. Joseph Crispino and Investigator Gregory Panzarella, according to documents obtained by News 12. Both officers were working as part of a police team whose duties include protecting the governor.
In Crispino's Jan. 18 run-in, police said the officer was making a left turn onto Route 133 as Mount Kisco resident Dulce Perez, 22, crossed the street. However, a broken crosswalk light failed to light up, according to the police investigation.
Jonathan Michaels, an accident lawyer with New York firm Pena & Kahn, is representing Perez in a possible suit for damages and believes his client would have a strong case. Michaels said Crispino told him in his deposition that he received some sort of interdepartmental discipline, specifically, “a letter of censure.”
Regarding Michaels' claim, State Police Major Michael Kopy said the department does not comment on disciplinary matters within the agency.
“It's a very simple straightforward case," Michaels said. "My client's crossing at a crosswalk and has the right of way and the rules of the road apply to this driver whether he's a trooper or anyone else."
The issue is negligence, he said. “It's not to say that he's criminally liable or that there was any foul play. I'm saying that he was negligent in the way he drove his vehicle,” Michaels said.
Perez fractured her skull and sustained a brain injury, Michaels said, leading to long-term medical problems. She has had to drop out of college and is now unable to complete her studies, he said.
Regarding a potential lawsuit, Kopy said: "That's not something I think is appropriate for comment right now."
According to documents in the case of the Jan. 19 incident with Panzarella, interviews conducted by police state show that the lamppost light near the Route 117 intersection was non-operational.
In addition, police investigators said there was no crosswalk on Brookside Avenue where Geronimo Ardon-Perez, 50, (no relation to Dolce Perez) was crossing. Ardon-Perez, also a Mount Kisco resident, suffered head and internal injuries, according to police.