Local News

Family angry after drunk driver gets shortened sentence

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A drunk driver who seriously injured a teenager is headed to jail, but not for as long as the victim's family might have liked.

David Andresen apologized to his victims in court Friday, but they family says it's too little, too late.

"My son Joseph is very angry," mom Joanne Garramone said. "He's very upset and we know it, and he shows it."

"Both my knees are horrible, really messed up," 15-year-old Joseph Garramone said. "I can't play football ever again because of the head trauma."

Josepoh and his family left Suffolk County court in anguish over a plea agreement that to them didn't feel anything like justice served.

Joanne pulled out a picture of her son in happier times, when he was a promising high school athlete. That all changed last summer, when the 50-year-old Andresen decided to drive drunk.

"It's because somebody had to have 12 beers before he came home from work that night. It's not fair," Joanne Garramone said.

In July of last year, Garramone was riding his bike with a friend on Clancy Street in Manorvile when Anderson plowed into him after guzzling beer.

Garramone suffered a severe concussion. He was hospitalized with leg injuries and still suffers from chronic headaches.

What's frustrating to relatives is that Andresen had two prior DWI convictions, but in exchange for a guilty plea, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reduced the sentence from 7 years to 6 months.

"I would have liked to make his life a little bit more uncomfortable," Joanne said. "Because that's what he's done for my family. He's made my family's life very uncomfortable."

,p> "Maybe this time that he's going to jail, we may have saved somebody's life," dad John Garramone said.

At the family's home, Joseph Garramone sifted through the pieces of his broken bike and reflected on the outcome.

"It's tough, because my life is totally different now," he said. "You know, I can't play football anymore, I can't do half the stuff I used to be able to do. And after six months, this guy's going to go to living his normal life."

The DA released a statement saying that the guilty plea ensures a felony conviction and five years probation with conditions.

Before sentencing, Andresen said he was sorry for what happened.

"I apologize," Andresen said. "I didn't think it was proper for me to approach you before this case was settled because I didn't know how you would take it."

(Copyright ©2014 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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