Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Man takes joyride in garbage truck, strikes empty school bus, cops say 

A drunken 23-year-old New Square man stole a garbage truck early Tuesday morning and rammed into an empty school bus before getting it stuck in front of a house, police said.

Chaim Surkis was arrested shortly after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday and is facing several criminal charges, including grand larceny.

While Ramapo police were investigating a report that a garbage truck had struck the bus in front of 766 N. Main St. (Route 45) in New Square, they received word that the truck was stuck a few miles away on the lawn and driveway of 44 Sandy Brook Drive in neighboring New Hempstead.

The action didn’t end there, police said.

After Surkis was taken into custody, he allegedly tried to kick out the window of the police cruiser.

Ramapo police Detective Lt. Mark Emma said Surkis didn’t offer any explanations for his early morning exploits.

“He didn’t have much to say to us,” Emma told The Journal News.

Surkis was charged with two felonies: second-degree grand larceny and second-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He was also charged with a variety of misdemeanors: two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief, attempted fourth-degree criminal mischief and driving while intoxicated.

This wasn’t Surkis’ first experience with the law.

He had an outstanding arrest warrant in Ramapo for criminal possession of stolen property, identity theft and petit larceny, Emma said. He was also processed on that warrant on Tuesday.

Surkis was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Ramapo Justice Court. Bail was set at a total of $45,000 — $20,000 for each of the incidents in New Square and New Hempstead, and $5,000 on the previous charges. He was scheduled to be taken to the county jail in New City.

No one was injured during Surkis’ joy ride but about a dozen Hillcrest firefighters helped contain a hydraulic fluid leak from the garbage truck, Hillcrest fire Chief Lloyd Hovelmann said. More than 100 pounds of absorbent material was used to collect the fluid that was seeping out of a 50-gallon storage tank near the house.

Rockland Paramedics and Spring Hill Ambulance also assisted at the scene.

Last December, Surkis’ younger brother, 17-year-old Pinches, was arrested by Ramapo police, accused of robbing two women and trying to sexually abuse one of them. Both of the women were Hispanic and worked as house cleaners.


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