MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Bayville man was arraigned yesterday on grand jury indictment charges for a near-fatal crash on the Wantagh State Parkway in February that left his passenger a quadriplegic.
Anthony Chiantella, 27, was arraigned before Judge Meryl Berkowitz and charged with:
- Assault in the First Degree (a B violent felony)
- Assault in the Second Degree (a D violent felony)
- Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree (a D felony)
- Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree (an E felony)
- Two counts of Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol (an unclassified misdemeanor)
- Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Drugs or of Alcohol and any Drug or Drugs (an unclassified misdemeanor)
- Harassment in the Second Degree (a violation)
Bail was set at $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash and the defendant is due back in court on March 18. If convicted of the top count he faces a maximum of 25 years in prison.
“This defendant endangered the life of every person on the Wantagh State Parkway when he allegedly drove his vehicle both drunk and high at outrageous speeds on the afternoon of February 2,” DA Singas said. “His 23-year old passenger was violently thrown from the vehicle and now is unable to walk or use his arms.”
DA Singas said that on Saturday, February 2, at approximately 4:45 pm, the defendant was allegedly driving 23-year-old Nicholas Mustakas’ 2007 Honda Accord at more than 130 miles per hour northbound on the Wantagh State Parkway when he lost control of the vehicle near Exit W6. The car slid across both northbound lanes, turned 180 degrees, struck the guardrail and began to spin out of control, ejecting both the defendant and his front seat passenger, Mustakas, from the vehicle.
The defendant was allegedly drunk and under the influence of cocaine at the time of the crash.
Both the defendant and his passenger, 23-year-old Nicholas Mustakas were transported to Nassau University Medical Center following the crash. The defendant suffered a broken pelvis and lacerated liver. The victim was left a quadriplegic after shattering his C-4 vertebra and suffering collapsed lungs. He remained in Nassau University Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit for one month following the accident and has since been transferred to a rehabilitation center in New Jersey where he remains under 24/7 nursing care. He is unlikely to walk again.
Deputy Bureau Chief Michael Bushwack and Senior Assistant District Attorney Diana Hedayati of DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau are prosecuting this case. Robert Schalk, Esq. represents the defendant.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.