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Hicksville Man Charged In 2001 Hit-And-Run Murder

Sebastian Barba, 34, allegedly ran over woman, 80, in Westbury

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that a man suspected of being the driver in a 2001 hit-and-run death that killed an 80-year-old woman in Westbury was arraigned on Nov. 13 after he was captured in Panama.

Sebastian Barba, 34, formerly of Hicksville, is charged with second-degree murder and leaving the scene of an incident without reporting. Barba faces up to 25 years to life if convicted. He was remanded by Judge Sullivan and was scheduled to return to court on November 14, 2012.

Rice said that at approximately 10:05 a.m. on Feb. 6, 2001, 80-year-old Jean Renison was crossing Post Avenue at the Maple Avenue intersection in Westbury when Barba struck her while driving a 1995 Cadillac. The force of the collision forced the victim onto the hood of the vehicle, police said, and Barba then applied the brakes, causing the victim, who was still alive and moving at the time, to fall to the ground in front of the vehicle.

Barba then slowly drove over the victim’s chest with the front tires and her head with the back tires while a witness screamed at him to stop, police said. He then fled the scene without identifying himself or aiding the victim and fled to Ecuador, where he has dual citizenship, according to Rice. A grand jury later indicted him, a warrant was issued for his arrest and Barba was featured on a May 2005 episode of America’s Most Wanted.

Local authorities in Panama detained Barba when his connecting flight to Ecuador from the Dominican Republic landed due to a “Red Notice,” which INTERPOL had placed on Barba. Panamanian officers and U.S. marshals escorted him back to the United States Friday, Nov. 9.

“Sebastian Barba’s cowardice kept him hidden for more than 11 years, but due to the collaborative efforts of the government bodies and law enforcement agencies involved in this manhunt, the family of Jean Renison will finally get the justice they have been waiting for,” Rice said. “Law enforcement has a very long memory, and this arrest is another example of the dedication and tenacity of the men and women who serve and protect.”

DA Rice added special thanks to NCPD Det. Gary Ferrucci, a 43-year veteran who has worked the case from the beginning, as well as the following for their involvement in this investigation:

 -U.S. Marshals – Senior Inspector, Office of South American Affairs, Mark Espinoza, U.S. Marshal Anthony B. Walker, U.S. Marshal Jose F. Espinal

-U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Services – Special Agent Investigator Daniel M. Glick, Special Agent Travis T. Blanton

-U.S. Embassy in Panama City – Juan Arturo Rawlins

-Panama City Police – Officer Pablo Icaza

-Servicio Nacional de Migracion in Panama – Eyda Man’a Garcia

-NY/NJ Port Authority PD – Sgt. James Ryan

Assistant District Attorneys Brendan Ahern and Michael Bushwack of the DA’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau are prosecuting the case. Jonathan Marks represents Barba.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com