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Wires were ripped down throughout southern Elmont and North Valley Stream, including at the corner of Dutch Broadway and Barry Drive.
Crime Watch
Stolen truck wreaks havoc in Elmont, North Valley Stream
MTA worker faces charges
Christina Daly/Herald
Police CLosed OFf several roads in North Valley Stream on Tuesday, including Dutch Broadway and parts of Corona Avenue, so repairs could be made.

Thousands of Elmont and surrounding-area residents woke up Tuesday with no power, as a stolen MTA bucket truck plowed through streets, knocking down trees, power lines, poles and crashing into cars at about 4 a.m.

The driver of the truck, an MTA worker, was identified as Joel Grasman, 51, of Elmont. Police said that Grasman, an employee for more than 20 years, had taken the truck from a transit facility in Queens to transport welding equipment.

According to police, Grasman drove the truck along Meacham Avenue and inside streets, knocking down what Long Island Power Authority officials said were about 12 utility poles. The damage was caused when Grasman raised the truck's bucket arm or boom, snaring and pulling down wires as he drove along.

Mark Gross, a LIPA spokesman, told the Herald that about 6,100 residents over a one-mile stretch were without power initially. Workers at the scene were estimating millions of dollars in damage.

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, Gross said that about 250 customers were still without power and LIPA hoped to have all residents restored by Wednesday at the latest.

“We hope to have most everyone back by today,” Gross said on Tuesday, “but we may have some single customers tomorrow. Those customers may need to have an electrician come to their home before we do if they had electrical boxes ripped out.”

Residents were angry.

“This person was insidious,” Elmont resident Judith A. Senning told the Herald. “What was going through his head? I thought it was someone either drunk or stoned, but it also could be a terrorist attack. I mean, you see these utility poles like broken toothpicks outside, you start to panic.”

Another Elmont resident, Dolores Lucardi, described the driver as a “screwball” who hurt a lot of families.

Tuesday morning, exit 15 Corona Avenue off the Southern State Parkway was closed due to traffic and Dutch Broadway, Meacham Avenue and North Fletcher were closed due to downed power lines.

Police say Grasman fled the scene and pulled over near the Southern State Parkway, where he exited the truck and ran. Police chased him and apprehended him. He is charged with second-degree criminal possession of stolen property, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, first-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree criminal tampering and second-degree criminal mischief He was to be arraigned on Wednesday in First District Court.


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hey folks..pardon my bedraggled grungy appearance!! no sleep..and alot of mayhem!!! i fugured that if hugh hefner could run his kingdom in his pajamas..so can i!! lol!..judy..

Thursday, August 29, 2013 | Report this

by the way..who pays for this?? if they expect us to..in the words of Judas Priest "they got another thing comin'"..judy senning.

Thursday, August 29, 2013 | Report this

How about putting this clown to work cleaning up the mess he made. The courts and the insurance companies will probably get to put a lien on his assets to pay for the damages sometime in the future. But there are probably homeowners who will have suffered damages for which they will have to pay out of pocket and will not be reimbursed.

Let's make a show of him doing a community service and being made to repair and clean whatever can be done as part of his punishment. Having him sitting a in jail on the taxpayer dime is a total waste of money. And while we're at it let's have him forfeit his pension as payment toward the damages. It would be wonderful to see some real tangible punishment laid upon him

Thursday, August 29, 2013 | Report this

i agree!! so much damage so much stress on homeowners and residents also!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013 | Report this
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