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Thu, Jul 07, 2005

Accused Plane Thief Charged In Second State

Phillippe Patricio Now Faces Charges In Connecticut As Well

A 20-year old flight student now faces charges in a second state, after police allege he stole a plane and took two friends on a drunken joyride.

As ANN reported last month, Phillippe Patricio already faced charges of possessing stolen property, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest. Those charges were filed in Westchester County, New York, where authorities say Patricio landed on a blacked-out taxiway.

Now, authorities in Connecticut have filed a felony charge of circumventing airport security, reckless endangerment unlawful use of an aircraft, operating an aircraft under the influence, delivering alcohol to a minor (two charges -- his passengers were both 16, according to police) and careless flying.

Authorities say Patricio admitted to crawling through a hole in the fence at Danbury, CT, Municipal Airport (aerochart, above) and stealing a Cessna 172 (file photo of type, below). He flew through the night, landing on a darkened taxiway at Westchester County Executive Airport only when his fuel was nearly exhausted. When police tested him for alcohol consumption, Patricio's blood-alcohol content was reportedly 0.15 percent -- almost twice the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle in New York.

He's been held without bond ever since.

But if he were to somehow gain his freedom from New York, the pilot-wannabe would still be extradited to Connecticut, where he'd have to post $1 million bond before seeing daylight again.

"These are very serious charges," Danbury Police Captain Arthur Sullo told the Greenwich Times. "I think the totality of the circumstances was weighed, plus it's known that in New York they consider him a flight risk. Connecticut does likewise."

Patricio's lawyers bristled at the amount he'd have to post in order to make bail.

"I think the bail is excessive," attorney Edwin Camacho told the Greenwich paper. "I don't really consider what the basis for that number is, considering that we're mostly talking about misdemeanors."

Camacho said they're now working on a plea deal with New York authorities.

FMI: Westchester County, NY, Courts; Danbury, CT, Courts

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