By Christina Carrega
A veteran firefighter was arrested on Sunday for leaving the scene of an accident that caused the death of man in Westchester County, police said.
Eric A. Werner was arraigned in Buchanan Village Court for mowing down Joseph Orichello in a 2014 Jeep Cherokee on Dec. 29 on Albany Post Road. Orichello, 63, was found on the side of the road and died of his injures, police said.
Westchester County Police Department held a press conference on New Year’s Eve that announced Werner’s arrest. The 17-year veteran of a Bronx firehouse fled the scene of the accident, but a small piece of the vehicle left behind was linked to Werner’s car, police said.
Werner, 44, was not surprised when authorities showed up at his home in Buchanan, NY to arrest him, said Lt. Jeff Hunt at the press conference.
“His initial response was that he had been expecting us and that he knew eventually we would catch up to him,” said Hunt on the video posted on LoHud.com.
Bail was set at $25,000 at Werner’s arraignment on Monday. If convicted of the felony charges, Werner faces up to seven years in prison. The smoke eater earned over $85,000 last year, according to public records.
Werner, who works at the FDNY’s Engine 48/Ladder 56 on Webster Avenue in the Bronx, was suspended without pay for the maximum 30 days, according to Jim Long, a spokesman for the FDNY.
Other media outlets reported that Werner worked in an unspecified firehouse in Queens.