Jacob Palant, 21, was found convicted of striking a car and causing permanent injury to a female passenger in December 2015.
Jacob Palant, 21, of Syosset was convicted by a jury on May 17, 2017 of:
Assault in the 1st Degree (a B violent felony)
Two counts of Reckless Endangerment in the 1st Degree (a D felony)
Assault in the 2nd Degree (a D violent felony)
Three counts of Criminal mischief in the 4th Degree (an A misdemeanor)
The trial before Acting Supreme Court Justice Meryl Berkowitz started May 1, 2017 and the jury deliberated for approximately a day and a half.
His co-defendant, Andrew Denton, was sentenced on August 21, 2017 to 10 years in prison.
“Jacob Palant and Andrew Denton endangered lives by throwing paving stones and cinderblocks at passing vehicles from a highway overpass,” DA Singas said. “People could have been killed from this depraved behavior and it is a miracle that only one young woman suffered permanent injuries due to their actions. These crimes will not be tolerated in Nassau County”
DA Singas said on two occasions on December 26, 2015, the defendants threw paving bricks and cinderblocks at cars from a Meadowbrook Parkway overpass bridge in Uniondale. The overpass has high fences curved inward at the top to prevent this kind of criminal behavior but the defendants used extraordinary efforts to thwart these protections. During the first incident in the afternoon, the defendants did not hit any of the vehicles they targeted. However, during the second incident, at approximately 8:00 pm, the defendants struck two vehicles – a BMW and a Jeep – with bricks.
The BMW was the first car that was hit and was being driven by a 21-year-old man with his girlfriend who were traveling northbound on the Meadowbrook to go out to dinner. Without warning, a paving brick smashed through the windshield, snapping off the rear-view mirror and shattering glass all over the vehicle. The brick just missed the driver’s head but the shattered glass permanently damaged the left eye of the 23-year old female passenger in the vehicle and lacerated her lip. The victim has a permanent scar on her cornea, cannot drive at night and suffers from blurry vision in that eye. The driver of the BMW also suffered a laceration to his shoulder and shoulder pain from where the brick struck him.
In the second incident, a 23-year-old woman was driving a Jeep to her sister’s home when it was struck on the roof and side of the car, narrowly missing the windshield. The Jeep sustained approximately $5,000 in damages.
New York State Police arrested the defendants on January 1, 2016, following an investigation.
Senior Assistant District Attorneys Stefanie Palma and Diana Hedayati of DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau prosecuted this case. Palant is represented by David Ayres and Donna Aldea, Esqs, Denton was represented by Edward and Kristin Galison, Esqs.