Chase turns deadly on LI

May 9, 2008 10:27:52 AM PDT
There was a violent and deadly end to a police chase on Long Island Thursday.A suspect, fleeing from cops, slammed into a car and killed a 47-year-old man.

It happened in Farmingville.

Police say what started as a small case of stolen property spiraled out of control. It ended with the death of a man who had nothing to do with the incident.

Eyewitness News' Emily Smith has more.

John Licausi, 48, was driving a smashed up green SUV, according to police. He sped down the road, through a red light, and hit a Toyota Camry. Both vehicles then struck a white van before stopping near the woods.

"The man came screaming down the road, blew the light and hit a gray car, lifting it in the air, causing an explosion of sound and sight, with car pieces flying everwhere," witness Rob Cooke said.

The driver of the Camry was identified as 46-year-old Scott Foster, of Manorville. He was transported to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:44 p.m.

"As a human being, we all know how we feel about that," Suffolk Detective Sergeant Frank Stewart said. "But as a police oficer, I can't comment."

Investigators say it all started less than a minute away in Farmingville. Police say Keith Corr was working as a hired landscaper at a home on Mount McKinley Avenue and Granny Road in Farmingville when Licausi approached him and asked if he was interested in buying landscaping power tools. Corr recognized the man as the person who stole tools from him on Monday and called police.

At 11:50 a.m., police say officer Michael Bogliole arrived and began investigating the larceny complaint. During the investigation, Licausi allegedly ran to his vehicle.

According to the press release, Officer Bogliole ran after Licausi and confronted him at Licausi's vehicle. Licausi was behind the wheel of his 1998 Mercury Mountaineer with the driver's side door open when Officer Bogliole attempted to detain him. Licausi placed his vehicle in drive and pulled away, causing Officer Bogliole to fall backwards. Officer Bogliole ran to his police car, radioed for assistance and drove after the fleeing subject.

The white van hit by the vehicles was driven by 74-year-old Andrew Buovolo, who was transported to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center with minor injuries. Officer Bogliole was treated for injuries at St. Charles Hospital and later released.

Licausi was arrested and charged with Driving While Impaired Drugs, Reckless Endangerment 1st Degree, Unlawful Fleeing Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle and Assault 2nd Degree.

"It's a terrible tragedy that a husband and father of three lost his life today because of the actions of an individual on parole for multiple felonies with an active bench warrant who fled from police, knocking over and injuring an officer in the process, during the course of a criminal investigation," Suffolk Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said. "The Suffolk County Police Department offers its deepest condolences to the Foster family for their loss."