Arrest in fatal hit-and-run

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Police have arrested a Dyker Heights man for a fatal hit-and-run in Gerritsen Beach in the early hours of June 28.

Michael Casale allegedly struck and killed Bryan Loughran of East Flatbush as he crossed Gerritsen Avenue between Everett and Florence avenues at approximately 2:45 am last Saturday.

Loughran was unconscious and unresponsive — suffering from severe body trauma — when police arrived. Paramedics rushed him to Beth Israel Hospital, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Casale fled the scene, according to cops, and went to a nearby residence on Bartlett Place where police say he called 911 about 20 minutes after the accident to report that his vehicle had been stolen earlier that day when he was inside a store.

Police soon found Casale’s white Chrysler van — with damage to driver’s side mirror — just a few blocks away on Frank Court between Cyrus Avenue and Bartlett Place. According to court records, an eyewitness to the incident described a white van driving away after Loughran was struck.

Casale was driving without a license, according to police, as it was suspended due to a lapse in insurance.

Police arrested Casale at about 5 am at his home in Dyker Heights. He was arraigned June 29 on charges of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree, falsely reporting an incident, and leaving the scene of a fatal accident, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The latter charge is a class D felony, punishable up to seven years in jail. Casale’s counsel could not be reached for comment.

Posted 12:00 am, July 2, 2014
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