WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - Following a three-month investigation, state police have arrested a man in connection with the fatal hit-and-run accident on I-95 that took the life of Yonkers tow-truck operator Salvator Brescia in December.
New York State Police announced the arrest Thursday of 51-year-old Queens resident Anthony Mangano, who was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident , a felony.
According to police, shortly before 7 a.m. on Thursday, Dec.29, the 32-year-old Brescia was tending to a disabled vehicle in the northbound lane on I-95 near exit 18B (White Plains/ Mamaroneck Avenue) when he was struck by a motorist who proceeded to speed off.
Brescia , an employee of Vincent Service Towing in Mamaroneck, was transported to Greenwich Hospital, where he was pronounced dead that day.
State police had to get down and dirty to track down their suspect, relying on “old-fashioned police work,” not advanced technologies.
Police said that initially, there was little evidence to help make a case, but a few small pieces of broken plastic left at the scene from the hit-and-run’s side view mirror gave investigators their break. State police were able to determine the specific type of plastic used to make the mirror fragments and subsequently tracked down the manufacturers.
After contacting the manufacturers, one of them identified the plastic fragments to a particular mirror that is commissioned for trucks made by GMC and Isuzu, police said. Through contact with auto parts distribution centers and dealers, they obtained a list of customers who had recently had their right side view mirror replaced.
According to police, troopers interviewed customers until a suspect - Mangano - was identified. Ultimately, Mangano, who serves as a substitute driver for a Queens trucking company, was determined to be the suspect that left the scene, police said.
“It was clear from the onset that identifying the hit-and-run driver was going to be difficult,” State Police Major Robert Nuzzo, the Troop K Commander, said. “In the end, it wasn’t sophisticated technology that solved the case, it was determination combined with old-fashioned police work.”
Mangano was arraigned in the Town of Harrison Court and released on $2,000 bail. He is due back in court on Tuesday, May 16.
“I applaud the dogged police work that resulted in the apprehension of the individual responsible for this tragic death,” Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. stated. “It was through the collaborative efforts of the New York State Police and our office that we were able to solve this crime. While this won’t bring back Sal Brescia, I hope this arrest assuages some of the pain felt by his loss.”