Nassau Police Arrest Hit-And-Run Driver Who Injured West Hempstead Rabbi

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Police have arrested Benitez Rodolfo, 46, of Far Rockaway, Queens, for a 2016 hit-and-run incident that seriously injured Rabbi Yehuda Kelemer, shlita, Rav of the Young Israel of West Hempstead, Nassau County police said in a news release on Sept. 2.

Rabbi Kelemer was hit outside his Long Island shul on December 12.

Rodolfo was arrested Friday, authorities say. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and tampering with physical evidence.

Newsday reported that Rodolfo pleaded not guilty at First District Court in Hempstead and was being held on $20,100 bond or $10,100 cash bail.

In the incident, a white Dodge Ram pickup truck was traveling south on Hempstead Avenue in West Hempstead when it struck Rabbi Kelemer as he attempted to cross the street in front of the Young Israel, where he has served as Rav since 1983.

The vehicle did not stop. Rabbi Kelemer was found by a passerby and was taken to Winthrop Hospital in Mineola.

Surveillance video from outside the shul captured the accident, detectives said after the incident, but the car’s license plate was not visible.

A police spokeswoman said that the arrest was the result of a 10-month investigation, but declined to provide further details.

Baruch Hashem, Rabbi Kelemer has recovered from the accident and is doing well.