NBC 4 New York
Authorities on Long Island are dismissing drunken driving charges against a 21-year-old Brooklyn woman who was arrested after the Mercedes she was in plowed through a Huntington home. Greg Cergol reports.
Authorities on Long Island are dismissing drunken driving charges against a 21-year-old Brooklyn woman who was arrested after the Mercedes she was in plowed through a Huntington home.
The Suffolk County District Attorney's office says the woman's ex-boyfriend, Dan Sajewski, was the actual driver of the vehicle. Sajewski was arraigned on charges of drunk driving and 10 other counts.
District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a news conference Wednesday their investigation -- based on medical evidence, witness statements and other proof -- determined that Sophia Anderson was not the driver in the May 28 crash.
Instead, Anderson's boyfriend "slyly and coolly manipulated Sophia into telling police that she was the driver, when in fact he was the driver," according to Anderson's lawyer, John LoTurco.
LoTorco said his drunken client agreed to take the rap for a man she still loved because he was already facing criminal charges in three counties.
"The defendant says to Sophia, 'You have to do this for me,'" said Spota. "You have to say you were driving. I can't afford to get into any more trouble."
Anderson suffered scrapes and bruises as the vehicle hurtled through the home, ending up in the backyard.
Two sisters in their 90s lived in the house. They were not hurt.
"Thank God they didn't kill them, but they displaced them and it's been very upsetting," said Gina Angevine, the granddaughter of one of the elderly women, Helen Indiere.
Prosecutors said Sajewski told friends he was driving the car, and DNA tests confirmed that blood found on the driver's side airbag was Sajewski's.
"Obviously, he's concerned," said his lawyer, Carl Benincasa. "I think anyone would be."
The DWI charges against Anderson will be dropped, but she must still face a charge of lying to police. Her lawyer said she finally turned on her ex-boyfriend after he promised to help her but never did.