New York

Off-Duty Cop Had 10 Pints of Beer, Margarita at Bar Before Deadly Wrong-Way Crash, Indictment Alleges

What to Know

  • Crime lab testing of Robert Scheuerer's blood found he had a blood alcohol level of 0.17, more than twice the legal limit, after the crash
  • A grand jury indictment unsealed Wednesday alleges the officer had 10 beers and a margarita over five hours at a bar before the accident
  • He is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide in the Sept. 27 crash that killed 37-year-old Brian Fusaro of Bay Shore

The off-duty Suffolk County cop who drove the wrong way on Sunrise Highway, hitting and killing another driver in a fiery collision earlier this year, had 10 pints of beer and a margarita while hanging with other officers at a bar in the hours prior to the accident, according to a grand jury indictment unsealed Wednesday.

The officer, 24-year-old Robert Scheuerer, pleaded not guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and manslaughter at his arraignment. 

Authorities say Scheuerer was driving his 2000 Nissan Pathfinder in the wrong direction on the westbound side of the highway Sept. 27 when he crashed into a Ford van between exits 39 and 40 in West Islip shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27. The van caught fire, and the driver of the van, 37-year-old Brian Fusaro, died at the scene. 

Fusaro, a cabinet-maker on his way to work, was burned beyond recognition. His boss told NBC 4 New York that Fusaro was a good guy with a big heart and a talent for his craft. 

Prosecutors have said Scheuerer had a blood alcohol level more than two times the legal limit at the time of the crash. 

Scheuerer, who was hospitalized with serious injuries following the crash, was suspended from duty without pay and is free on $150,000 bail. 

His attorney William Petrillo told NBC 4 New York his client would be vindicated.

"We have uncovered credible evidence that will unfold later as the case progresses which will demonstrate that his being on the wrong side of the road had nothing to do with alcohol consumption," Petrillo said.

Suffolk police say he has been suspended without pay.

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