Tuesday, 20 November 2012 00:00
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.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
In what is hoped to be a step forward for the Westbury School District’s ongoing search for a superintendent, the board of education voted to terminate its contract with search firm Hazard, Young, Attea. However, questions still remain. Will the board continue the search with another firm? Will the board conduct the search themselves? Will it consider current Interim Superintendent Mary Lagnado for the position? And of course, how long will the process take before a permanent superintendent is named?
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
The Westbury Board of Trustees has decided to grant Avanti a special use cabaret permit for a probationary six months.
The club had its permit rescinded six weeks ago after being in violation of several conditions, including noise and not reporting police activity. It now is required to operate under stricter conditions, including revised operating hours (they can be open until1 a.m. Sunday to
Wednesday and until 2 am. Thursday to Saturday) and having to keep a log book of any police activity. Much of the debate over Avanti had to do with an advertisement that promoted an event of a sexual nature. Club owner Barry Ceriano insisted that nothing of such a nature happened at Avanti and he was unaware of the ads, however the mayor said that the advertisement itself was in violation of the club’s permit and that the owner was responsible for all events that went on in his club. In that strain, the new permit includes a condition that says “applicant shall be responsible for any and all activities or events occurring at the premises. In the event that the applicant uses or engages the service of a booking agent, event planner, promoter…applicant shall use a written contract…and shall remain responsible and liable for any and all violations of the permit.” The following condition also says “any advertisement…of any event at the Premises, that advertises or promotes an event that would be a violation of this Permit and conditions, is itself a violation.”
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
Avenging the previous day’s loss and moving themselves one step closer to a possible county title, the Carle Place Frogs Softball team beat out the Locust Valley Falcons Wednesday, May 15 in a game two rematch for the Nassau County Class B Semi-Final, 12-3.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
Westbury Okinawan Karate recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary of coming to the Westbury Recreation Center. Since then, the dojo has trained 250 students, ages six and up, in the art of karate with the style of traditional Okinawan ShorinRyu Shidokan.
Founded by sensei John Power, the classes seek to instill the confidence and strength needed to obtain success in everyday life.
“A lot of kids are lacking confidence,” said Power. “We let them practice leadership in the class and this contributes to their confidence.