Services for the New York City police officer from Long Island who died in the line of duty after being struck by an alleged drunk driver are planned for Tuesday in Greenlawn.
Anastasio Tsakos, 43, of East Northport, was a 14-year veteran of the NYPD Highway Patrol Unit and was directing traffic after another car accident on the Long Island Expressway in Queens when he was fatally hit early on the morning of April 27. He leaves behind a wife and two children.
“The entire NYPD hurts tonight as we reconcile the loss of our brother,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea wrote in a statement that day. “A loss not only for our NYPD family, but all of NYC.”
On Monday, hundreds attended the wake for Tsakos on Long Island.
The alleged drunk driver, 32-year-old Jessica Beauvais, of Hempstead, is being held without bail on multiple charges, including second-degree aggravated manslaughter and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, for which she could face up to 15 years in prison.
As she was escorted out of a Queens police precinct after her arraignment, Beauvais cried while telling reporters, “I’m sorry that I hit him and that he’s dead.” Reports say that she admitted to drinking before driving the vehicle and had a blood alcohol level nearly double the legal limit.
A wake will be held for Tskaos from 2 to 9 p.m. on Monday at St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Shrine Church, located at 1 Shrine Place in Greenlawn. The funeral will be at the same location at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
Support has poured in for the Tsakos family as they mourn Anastasio’s death. Fellow officers and East Northport neighbors have described him to reporters as a warm, friendly, and hardworking man.
Tunnels to Towers Foundation, which provides support to families of military and first responders, announced on Friday that it will pay off Anastasio’s mortgage on his home to aid the Tsakos family. In addition, a GoFundMe page for the family has raised more than $150,000.
“Anastasios Tsakos also known as Tasso was taken from our family way too soon,” the page, created by a family member, reads. “ … Words cannot describe the emptiness his family and dearest friends feel. He was the light in many lives.
“We ask that everyone thinks before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence,” the family member adds. “Think about what effects it may have on someone’s family, friends, and colleagues.”
This story first appeared on our sister publication longislandpress.com.