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Jan 10, 2018 9:56 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Deputy Sheriff Finds Engagement Ring In Snow

Suffolk County Deputy Sheriff Anita Caruso in front of her patrol car with the metal detector. COURTESY ANITA CARUSO
Jan 10, 2018 10:10 AM

Suffolk County Deputy Sheriff Anita Caruso was battling the elements on her way to the office on Saturday, December 30, and had just taken the slippery Exit 61 off Sunrise Highway when she glimpsed a flash of green in the white snow.

Beside the ramp to County Road 51 in Eastport, a 1999 Toyota was nestled on the snowy shoulder, its occupants digging in the powder around it.

Attention piqued, Deputy Caruso, a 40-year-old Shirley resident, pulled over to offer assistance.

She recalled that Natalie Gerweck of Bay Shore and Jason Griffin of Ronkonkoma explained that their car had slid off the icy road, getting a flat tire in the process. As the couple got out to examine the problem, Ms. Gerweck’s engagement ring slid off her finger and disappeared into the powdery mounds.

Despite the protestations of the polite couple, Deputy Caruso joined them on her hands and knees, sifting through the snow.

“There’s got to be an easier way,” she remembers thinking.

She decided to call the sheriff’s office in Riverhead to see if there were any metal detectors available. Sergeant Sean McQuade dug out a wand used to search prisoners, and Deputy Sheriff Justin Lorincz dropped it off on his way home.

“I was just waving it around the general area where she dropped it,” said Deputy Caruso. “I’d wave it over a patch, and it would start beeping, and I’d move over a little, and it would stop.” She finally triangulated the ring’s location and dug it out.

“They were so happy—we hugged,” she said.

Ms. Gerweck and Mr. Griffin called AAA, and the group then searched—in vain—for a much larger object, the car’s hubcap, until an agent arrived to change the tire. After final a final thank you, the couple got into their newly operational vehicle and drove away.

In a Facebook post, Sheriff Errol Toulon and the Sheriff’s office commended Deputy Caruso for “going above and beyond.” Deputy Caruso said she was just happy she could help.

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