Hampton Bays Man Avoids Manslaughter Charge in Riverhead Cabbie's Death

A grand jury chose not to indict Kenneth J. Tofty-Forrest this week on manslaughter charges after an incident in April left a cab driver from Riverhead, Robert Levasseur, dead.

A grand jury opted not to indict a Hampton Bays man this week on manslaughter charges, instead telling the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office to stick with an assault in the third degree charge, according to an article posted on 27east.

The jury failed to indict Kenneth J. Tofty-Forrest, 27, of Hampton Bays, in relation to a "road rage" incident on April 21 in which Robert Levasseur, 53, a Riverhead Four Ones Taxi driver, was struck in the head by Tofty-Forrest at the Chase Bank in Hampton Bays.  

Levasseur, who lay in a coma for several days, died five days late at Stony Brook University Hospital, his mother devastated. 

"There was nothing they could do," she said, "He was a good guy."

A woman, Faith Miller, who was at the center of an alleged altercation also spoke to Patch shortly after the incident, alleging that she was punched by Levasseur before Tofty-Forrest took action.

Miller said she was driving down a street in Hampton Bays on Saturday, April 21 when Levasseur “blew through a stop sign, and caused me to have to swerve off the road. I almost crashed my truck. This driver did not stop, did not slow down -- he just kept driving.”

Miller said she parked her truck and sat for a few moment before she began driving again and headed down Good Ground Road, where she saw the taxi driver pulling into the parking lot of the Chase bank branch on Montauk Highway.

“I followed him in there,” Miller said. “I got out of my truck and asked him what his problem was. I thought I had the right to know why he did what he did.”

About the incident, Miller added, “Yes, I will admit I was yelling. I was upset. Then he proceeded to get out of the car and tell me I needed to shut up. He punched me in the jaw.”

It was then that Tofty-Forrest stepped in.

If convicted of assault, Tofty-Forrest faces a year in jail. After appearing in court on Wednesday for court conferences, he is due back in court on Sept. 12.

WBFD125 July 19, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Chivalry is not dead, but the cab driver is. Bury the shmuck and let the other guy go.


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