Nearby: Drug Bust Sparks Car Crash in North Bellmore

Anthony Castano of Merrick was allegedly found with crack cocaine before he sped away from officers.

Photo Credit: Kristen Seales
Photo Credit: Kristen Seales
A Merrick man struck a police car and utility pole with his car and was then extricated after a drug bust in North Bellmore on Tuesday, police said.

According to police, detectives were conducting a narcotics investigation on North Jerusalem Road when they saw Anthony Castano, 23, pull into a parking lot in a 1999 Infiniti.

James Gauthier of Bellmore then approached and entered the vehicle. After a brief conversation Gauthier exited the vehicle and began to walk away, police said.

Believing a drug transaction had occurred, officers approached the vehicle instructing Castano to shut off the engine and show his hands.

A large clear plastic bag containing smaller clear bags with a substance believed to be crack cocaine was seen on Castano’s lap, police said.

Castano refused the officers' verbal commands and began swallowing the bags, police said.

When police attempted to remove Castano from the car he accelerated the vehicle, striking an unmarked police car, and fled at a high rate of speed westbound on North Jerusalem Road, police said.

Castano then struck a utility pole at the intersection of Bellmore Avenue and North Jerusalem Road, police said.

The Nassau County Police Emergency Services Unit and North Bellmore and East Meadow Fire Departments responded and extricated Castano, authorities said.

Gauthier was taken into custody at the original scene where he was found to be in possession of what police believed to be crack cocaine.

Castano was charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree tampering with physical evidence.


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