Good Ground - Excerpt #2
by M. Darski
July 17th, 20__
Sgt. Eric Luchessi got his arms, head and torso through the window without much difficulty, but it took some maneuvering for the 5’ 7”, 400-pound Suffolk police sergeant to hoist his considerable midsection into the den of a Sag Harbor home burglarized last year.
A Suffolk jury watched Luchessi’s entry on a videotape played in court Friday. Police invited Sgt. Luchessi to perform the demonstration entry because of his size. According to prosecutors, his relative and eventual success proved that defendant David Flaim, who is an inch shorter and 100 pounds lighter, could have made the same type of entry with ease.
Flaim, 38, is charged with burglarizing the Sag Harbor home of next-door neighbors Sal and Bonnie Orzelak by hefting himself up through the Andersen casement window and leaving through the side door with assorted high-end electronic devices including a Hi-Def plasma-screen TV, five of seven surround-sound Bose speakers (w/ subwoofer), and approximately 700 DVDs.
Defense attorney Crisp O’Hara has suggested that the 305-lb Flaim would not have fit through the window opening. O’Hara said Friday that the video of Luchessi climbing into the house proved “precisely nada”, in part because Luchessi needed a ladder to reach the window 69 inches off the ground, and used it for leverage as he thrust his way into the house. O’Hara called the action “as unlikely as it was unsightly.”
During cross-examination by O’Hara, Luchessi conceded that he could not have gotten in through the window without the help of something “to get myself off the ground,” but added that some patio furniture in the Orzelaks’ backyard “could have done the trick easy” when it came to Flaim’s intrusion.
Sgt. Luchessi, one of the arresting officers in the case, took part in the experiment as a favor to an investigator on the case. Luchessi said he was happy to help, even if it cost him some ribbing by officers who dubbed him “Sgt. Sausage Casing.” “If this will keep one more cocky good-looking klepto off my Main Streets, I don’t care what they call me,” said Luchessi.