Traffic ticket turns deadly

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A routine traffic ticket took a turn for the worse last Saturday after a man who argued with three traffic enforcement agents suffered a massive heart attack and died.

The event occurred in the 3700 block of E. Tremont Avenue in Throggs Neck at approximately 1 p.m.

According to eyewitness accounts, 64-year-old Leo Magnotta of Throggs Neck was double-parked outside of a Subway sandwich shop, at 3714 E. Tremont Avenue, when a traffic agent approached his car and began writing him a ticket.

“The guy was sitting in his car waiting for his wife to come out,” said Paul Patel, who owns the Subway sandwich shop. “He became very angry, and while the police were coming, something happened.”

Magnotta became very upset and called the police from his cell phone to protest the ticket. While he waited and continued to argue with the traffic agent and two supervisors, he suffered a massive heart attack and died after being intubated by paramedics who arrived at the scene.

Conflicting reports exist as to whether or not the traffic agent, who asked Magnotta to move his car, gave him a warning before issuing the ticket, but what is clear is that the victim had probably suffered severe brain damage by the time the paramedics arrived because he had been deprived of oxygen for over six minutes.

“From what I hear from other people, the man started screaming after he got the ticket,” said a local businessman, who witnessed the incident from across the street.

“When I came outside, he was lying down in the street with blood coming out of his nose and eyes,” he continued.  “The traffic agent was sitting in his car, afraid to get out.”

No incidents of retaliation occurred against the traffic agent, as those nearby rushed to the scene and concentrated their efforts at comforting Magnotta’s distraught wife, while a doctor who was at the scene tried to save his life. 

An anonymous hero performed CPR, and was able to get a pulse, but Magnotta soon passed away after being transported by an EMS crew to a nearby hospital.

Police roped off the area around the scene, and passersby were questioned about what happened by NYPD detectives, as were the local business owners along the strip.  An investigation into the matter is forthcoming.

Updated 5:29 pm, October 21, 2011
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