Roslyn community packs courthouse for appearance of alleged DWI driver in || DWI attorney

Roslyn community packs courthouse for appearance of alleged DWI driver in

Hundreds of Roslyn community members packed a Mineola courthouse Monday morning as the alleged wrong-way drunken driver charged with killing two teens and injuring two others in a horrific crash in Jericho last week made an appearance in court.

A line of several hundred poured out of Nassau County Court as Amandeep Singh, 34, of Roslyn, appeared in District Court Judge Anthony Paradiso’s first-floor courtroom for a three-minute hearing where a future court date was set for June 6. Singh, clad in a green sweatshirt with his hands cuffed behind his back, said nothing other than confirming his name.

Only a few dozen friends and family members of the victims were allowed access into the courtroom, opposite roughly 20 members of Singh’s family. 

But outside the courtroom, community members said they were prepared to attend every hearing to monitor the case and make sure Singh remains behind bars.

“We’re gonna shut this courthouse down until justice is served,” said Rabbi Michael White of Temple Sinai of Roslyn, who on Friday presided over the funeral of 14-year-old victim Ethan Falkowitz. “Every time [Singh] appears, we’re gonna be here.”

Members of the victims’ and suspect’s respective families left court without speaking with the media.

James Kousouros, Singh’s Manhattan-based defense attorney, did not make a request Monday to have his client released on bail after his initial request was denied during the motorist’s arraignment on Thursday. Kousouros told reporters that there was no expectation bail would be granted Monday, but that he would pursue “alternative measures” to secure it.

Amadeep Singh leaves the courthouse on Monday.

Amadeep Singh leaves the courthouse on Monday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

“My client and his family are devastated by this loss,” said Kousouros, who declined to say where his client was leaving from at the time of the crash. “They are mourning the deaths of these children and they feel terrible. They’re devastated by the whole thing.”

Falkowitz was killed Wednesday night, along with fellow 14-year-old Roslyn tennis player Drew Hassenbein, who was buried Sunday, when an older teammate’s 2019 Alfa Romeo was struck by Singh’s Dodge Ram pickup truck, police said.

Singh, whose blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit, was driving south in the northbound lanes of North Broadway, and attempted to flee the scene immediately after the crash, authorities said.

The 17-year-old driver and another 16-year-old passenger survived the crash. All four were members of Roslyn’s tennis team and were on their way home after a victory.

Stacey Varghese of Roslyn said her son played soccer with Falkowitz and that she wanted to come out to support the families. “We wanted to make sure that justice was served for the families,” said Varghese, who attended the hearing with her daughter Avani.

Roslyn community member David Pollack said “I wanted to do something positive. And I felt like it was important to show up to be able to make sure that the right result happens. … We did that and think this community is just going to keep on showing up.”

Gary and Lynne Falkowitz, Ethan’s parents, have organized a GoFundMe to support undisclosed charities and causes that their son supported. In roughly 24 hours, as of Monday evening, the page had raised nearly $168,000. 

Family member Debbie Hassenbein is also organizing a GoFundMe in honor of Drew to provide tennis lessons and scholarships to underprivileged kids. Monday evening, the page had raised more than $96,000.

Robert Brodsky is a breaking news reporter who has worked at Newsday since 2011. He is a Queens College and American University alum.

Roslyn community packs courthouse for appearance of alleged DWI driver in

Community members said they were prepared to attend every hearing in memory of Ethan Falkowitz and Drew Hassenbein.

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