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Shelia Bast * Class of 1985
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February 20, 2019
Two young Long Island men surrendered this morning and were charged with fatally striking a 17-year-old girl with their car during an argument last Sunday.
The victim, Sheila Bast, a student at Wantagh High School, was pronounced dead Tuesday evening after tests indicated no brain wave activity. She had been in a coma for two days at the Nassau County Medical Center in East Meadow.
The two suspects are Joseph DeSantis, 22 years old, and Glen Hansen, 23, both of Wantagh, said Ed Grilli, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s office.
Both suspects were charged with first-degree manslaughter. In addition, Mr. DeSantis, the driver of the car, was charged with leaving the scene. They were arraigned this afternoon in Nassau County District Court before Judge Charles Heine, who set bail at $100,000 each and ordered them to appear in court Friday.
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Miss Bast was injured during an argument in the parking lot near the Wantagh railroad station at 1:50 A.M. last Sunday. According to the police, the dispute began when the suspects’ car apparently followed a car carrying Miss Bast into the parking lot and tapped bumpers. Angry Exchange of Words
After Miss Bast and three friends got out of their car and exchanged some angry words with the two young men, the police said, the two men sped away, striking Miss Bast in the head. The car also hit 18-year-old William Walsh of Wantagh, a friend of Miss Bast, who suffered minor bruises.
At 1 A.M. today, about seven hours after Miss Bast died, the suspects’ attorney called Barry Grennan, chief of the District Attorney’s major offense bureau, and arranged for the young men to surrender at 9 A.M.
The suspects ”appear to be very upset and very remorseful for their act,” Mr. Grennan said. ”It appears to be just a young people’s hassle, with one car following another car that had girls in it and an exchange of words and a developing situation.”
The attorney, Thomas Mason, said Miss Bast’s death was ”a tragic accident.”
Mr. Grennan said that the car had never actually run over Miss Bast, but that the door on the passenger side had been swung open, smashing her head. He said the evidence seemed to indicate that Miss Bath had been hit once or twice with the door.
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”I have no evidence of an actual running over of a person,” he said.
He said the police seized the car this morning and were conducting tests on it.
Mr. DeSantis is an architectural student; Mr. Hansen works as a mason for Mr. DeSantis’s father, officials said.
Name of Classmate
Mark C. Barry Class of 1970
Michael Battistelli Class of 1992
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