East Patchogue, NY - December 8, 2015 - Suffolk County Police Fifth Squad detectives are investigating an incident in which a female passenger was struck by a bullet during a road rage incident in East Patchogue last evening.
Nichole McDowell, 27, of Ronkonkoma, was a passenger in a 2009 Hyundai, operated by her boyfriend, Edward Pontis, 30, of Ronkonkoma, who was driving westbound on Sunrise Highway, between Hospital Road and Route 101 at approximately 8:50 p.m. when they came upon a light-colored minivan, weaving back and forth in front of them in the left lane. Pontis flashed his bright lights at the driver, who then hit his brakes. Pontis then passed the minivan on the right side and pulled in front of the minivan. The driver of the minivan sped up, driving close to the rear of the Hyundai, and started flashing his lights. While both drivers were traveling at a high rate of speed, Pontis stepped on his brakes. The driver of the minivan then pulled up alongside the Hyundai and fired two shots into the vehicle, striking McDowell once in her hand and leg.
Pontis transported McDowell to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue where she is listed in stable condition. The couple’s child, an 11-week-old baby girl, who was in the back seat of the Hyundai, was uninjured.
The investigation is continuing. Detectives are asking anyone with information to contact the Fifth Squad at 631-854-8552 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.