Sylvestro Liotta
Sylvestro Liotta

Authorities said a fatal hit-and-run suspect who was caught at the Canadian border last week had tried to cover-up his crime by walking back to the scene and pretending to be a Good Samaritan.

Sylvestro Liotta pleaded not guilty Tuesday at Suffolk County court to charges of leaving the scene of an accident, driving without a license, perjury and offering a false instrument for filing.

“The evidence shows that after running the victim over, Liotta left the scene in his damaged work vehicle only to return on foot to implement a cover-up,” Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota said. “He walked back to Caleb’s Path where he struck [the victim] and dialed 911 to report that he found a seriously injured man in the roadway.”

Prosecutors said the 45-year-old Central Islip man fatally struck Orlando Marquez, 38, on Caleb’s Path near the victim’s Brentwood home on Feb. 18 and fled the scene.

The victim was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where he was pronounced dead. Liotta was arrested by New York State Police as he tried to cross the border into Canada.

“The defendant had a plan in place to flee to Europe and rendezvous with a friend he’d made online,” Spota said.

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Bail for Liotta was set at $400,000 bond or $200,000 cash. He is due back in court May 22.


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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.