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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Teen Indicted In NY Tow-Truck Driver's Slaying

Here's the story from the Lower Hudson Journal News:
CARMEL - A Lake Peekskill teen is accused of fatally shooting Garrison tow-truck driver John Marcinak in December while breaking into his Garrison Garage on Route 9, Sheriff Donald B. Smith said yesterday.

Smith announced the indictment of Anthony Grigoroff, 18, of 52 Morrissey Drive at a news conference attended by Marcinak's widow, three children and more than a dozen of their family and friends.

Smith indicated there may be other suspects and said the investigation was continuing.

The shooting death, which happened shortly after noon Dec. 31, not only devastated his wife, Janet, and their three children, Julie, 14, John, 10, and Joey, 8, it stunned the Garrison community in which Marcinak, 49, was a beloved member.

Grigoroff was brought yesterday from the Putnam County jail, where he was serving time on an unrelated drunken-driving charge, to the County Court and arraigned before Judge James Reitz on charges of second-degree murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of second-degree attempted burglary, all felonies.

Reitz ordered him held without bail.

"It is alleged that John Marcinak was shot and killed when he interrupted Grigoroff and others who were attempting to burglarize Marcinak's Garrison towing garage," Assistant District Attorney Chana Krauss said.

Smith declined to elaborate on the crime - including possible accomplices and whether a weapon was recovered - citing the continuing investigation and the desire to see the case prosecuted successfully.

It snowed the morning of Dec. 31 and Marcinak had returned to his garage after towing a car that was in an accident on Route 9 just over the Westchester County line when he apparently interrupted the burglary and was shot twice.

The burglars fled after the shooting and a passer-by called police around 12:15 p.m., after seeing Marcinak lying on the side of the road. Initial responders thought he had been struck by a vehicle.

But once Marcinak arrived at the Hudson Valley Hospital Center in Cortlandt, doctors determined he had been shot to death.

After the brief, somber news conference in the training room at the Sheriff's Office, Janet Marcinak and her three children hugged in an emotional moment. She said she never doubted that sheriff's investigators would make an arrest and said news of the indictment brought a flood of emotions for her family, including relief, happiness, sadness and a feeling that justice will be served.

The killing mystified the Garrison community, where Marcinak grew up, volunteered with the Fire Department and could often be seen driving around town with his children in his flatbed tow truck. He was a frequent volunteer in the Garrison schools and was known for always wearing shorts, even in winter.

"We knew it was going to be a random act because anyone who knew John would not do this to him," Janet Marcinak said.

If she could speak to the personal responsible for her husband's death, she said she would have one question: "I would still want to know why he had to kill John because John would have given him anything he wanted."

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