Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Charge reduced against Larchmont teen accused of running over boy

Follow up to these earlier posts ...

DWI suspect: 'My heart goes out' to family of injured boy

Boy, 9, struck by car, remains in coma


LARCHMONT - The drunken-driving charge against a Larchmont teen accused of running over a 9-year-old boy with his car last week was reduced after a blood test came back showing that the teen's blood-alcohol level after the accident was zero, the young man's attorney said yesterday.

Mike Mezansky, 18, pleaded not guilty to a reduced charged of driving while ability impaired, a traffic violation, during his arraignment in Village Court last night.

More than 20 of Mezansky's friends turned out to show him, packing three rows of the courtroom.

Mezansky was initially charged shortly after the June 6 accident with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, accused of hitting William Powers as the boy walked across Magnolia Avenue at 7:45 a.m.

The boy had gone with his sister and watched as she boarded a Bee-Line bus. He then walked across the street in front of the bus to go home. That's when the Lexus Mezansky was driving pulled out from behind the bus and struck the child, police said.

The boy remained in a coma for a week before regaining consciousness over the weekend. He was listed in fair condition.

"My heart goes out to both of the families involved in this," said Joseph Abinanti, Mezansky's attorney. "... And I am gratified that the charge was reduced, but it should be dismissed altogether since there is no merit or basis in evidence for the charge."

Police said they detected alcohol and arrested the teen after he failed a series of field sobriety tests. Mezansky refused a Breathalyzer test, police said, and they sought a court order to test his blood.

"His blood-alcohol was zero," Abinanti said. "Which means that three or four hours earlier (when the accident occurred) his blood alcohol would have been at .03 or .04 (percent) at most."

The legal threshold for driving while intoxicated in New York state is 0.08 percent.

Abinanti said that low amounts of alcohol could be caused, for example, by mouthwash residue.

But the bottom line, Abinanti said, was that Mezansky "was neither impaired nor intoxicated at the time of the accident."

Mezansky's case was adjourned until July 8.

Meanwhile, William's condition remains "acute." A family spokesperson said he has suffered a traumatic brain injury along with other injuries and is being fed through a tube.

Staff writer Shawn Cohen contributed to this report.
Reach Melanie Plenda at or 914-696-8570.

Charge reduced against Larchmont teen accused of running over boy The Journal News

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