Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Van strike is a family 'splatter' - Cuz catfight over Facebook boy
‘DRIVEN MAD’: Melanie Spanopoulos, accused of smashing into her cousin with her minivan, glowers outside Nassau Police Headquarters in Mineola, LI, yesterday
A Long Island woman allegedly mowed down her cousin twice with a minivan after a Facebook-fueled catfight over a man -- leaving the victim helpless in the middle of a busy road on a freezing night, sources said.
Giselle Penagos, 21, required emergency surgery Monday to fix a broken leg and shattered pelvis after she and her cousin Melanie Spanopoulos sparred viciously over a cyber-Casanova during a wild car ride.
Luckily, an unidentified man rescued Penagos as she lay bleeding in Elmont early Monday morning and rushed her to her father's house in Queens.
"If it wasn't for the good Samaritan, she could very easily have been hit by another car," said Nassau County Detective Sgt. Robert Galgano.
The temperature was in the single digits and Penagos, unable to move due to her injuries, also might have died of exposure.
"I don't know what to say, it was just crazy. I was so scared," Penagos told The Post from her bed at Elmhurst Hospital.
After watching the Jets game at a bar, Spanopoulos -- whose Facebook page notes that her favorite activities are "getting drunk" and "speaking gibberish" -- and Penagos headed home on the Southern State Parkway.
Galgano said that's when one of the girls found out the other one was in touch with a potential love interest on Facebook.
Spanopoulos' lawyer, Dennis Lemke, said the man refused Penagos' friend request but accepted one from his client.
Then the fur flew.
Spanopoulos pulled off the parkway onto a dark street near Elmont Avenue and Penagos got out. When Penagos refused to get back in the van, Spanopoulos allegedly leaped out and the pair wrestled each other to the ground.
The suspect then hopped behind the wheel and plowed into her cousin with the van, cops said. She then allegedly put the vehicle in reverse and smashed into her a second time.
Spanopoulos told her cousin again to "get the
f - - k in the car," according to Penagos' uncle, William Penagos. The victim replied, "I can't get in the car, I can't feel my legs," he said.
Around that time, the good Samaritan pulled up and asked if he could help. According to Penagos, Spanopoulos offered him $20 to take her cousin to Queens.
He pulled away, and so did Spanopoulos.
But about five minutes later, the man returned and took the injured girl to her dad's home.
At her arraignment yesterday at District Court in Hempstead, Lemke said Spanopoulos was innocent.
She was charged with assault and released on $10,000 bond.
"This sucks," Spanopoulos said -- and then smiled.