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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

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

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October 17

Fall Festival

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Veterans Casework Seminar

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