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N.Y. police chase ends with suspect crashing into home, killing man inside

By Jennifer Barrios

Long Island, N.Y. --  A suspect fleeing from police crashed his car into a Farmingdale home Thursday afternoon, killing the homeowner in his living room.

The chase occurred around 2:25 p.m. after patrol officers attempted to detain Richard Maier, 28, of Mastic, and a second person as they sat in a car in North Amityville, Suffolk County Police Det. Sgt. Kenneth Williams said.

The passenger fled the vehicle, and Maier sped off in the car, Williams said.

Officers pursued Maier, who drove north through North Amityville, then headed west on Route 109 in Farmingdale.

When Maier attempted to turn or cross the highway divider, Williams said, he lost control of the car and crashed into the side of a one-story house at 952 Fulton St.

"He went through several walls in the house and struck and killed the occupant," Williams said.

The car hit and killed 59-year-old William Calhoun.

Maier was arrested and taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. Charges were pending last night. The passenger also was taken into custody.

Williams said Maier "was under the influence," but did not say if it was drugs or alcohol that was involved. Officers originally approached the car because they believed a drug deal may have been going on, police said.

Thomas Chiappone, 28, said he saw the chase as he stood in a convenience store across the street.

"The car was flying," said Chiappone, who lives a block away from the accident. "Then we saw cops, and all of a sudden, the car just veered across traffic. All of a sudden, we heard a big boom."

Chiappone's friend, Joseph Gentissi, 31, of Syosset, said he was waiting in the parking lot of the store for Chiappone when he saw what he described as a black truck speeding by.

"The engine was screaming," Gentissi said. "Next thing I knew, I heard a loud bang, like a gunshot."

Police cordoned off both directions of traffic on Route 109 for several hours after the accident.

Although the accident itself occurred in Nassau County, the chase originated in Suffolk, leading the two agencies to confer at length over which one would take the case. Suffolk County eventually emerged as the lead agency.

The home, a ranch-style house with a brick front built in 1972, is owned by Calhoun and his wife, Linda, according to property records.

The home carries a tax exemption for veterans, according to the records.

Copyright 2006 Newsday

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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