The man who struck an East Quogue bicyclist with his SUV while driving drunk on the Fourth of July in Quogue Village was indicted last week on 10 charges, including multiple counts of vehicular assault.
Tabber B. Benedict, 34, of Manhattan was arraigned on the charges in Suffolk County Criminal Court in Riverhead last Thursday, July 28, and pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated vehicular assault, two counts of second-degree vehicular assault and leaving the scene of an accident, all felonies. He entered the same plea for two counts of driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, and several traffic violations including reckless driving, failure to stay in his lane, and crossing over the double yellow line.
According to Robert Clifford, a spokesman for the Suffolk County district attorney’s office, Mr. Benedict was released from jail after he posted $75,000 bail and is due back in court on September 19 for a conference. In an email on Monday, Mr. Clifford added that court conferences are generally followed by pre-trial hearings and then jury selection and trial. It was unclear how long the process could take.
Mr. Benedict was arrested on July 4 after he struck Southampton Town employee Steve Dorn, 44, of East Quogue with his black 2011 GMC Acadia on Montauk Highway and left the scene of the accident, according to Quogue Village Police. Mr. Benedict was forced to pull over two miles down the road, in East Quogue, by two motorists who witnessed the accident and used their cars to block his vehicle and prevent him from fleeing.
Mr. Dorn, who suffered serious injures, was discharged from Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue last month, according to hospital officials.
A teacher in the William Floyd School District, Mr. Dorn also worked as a lifeguard at Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays every summer for the past 11 years.