Days after a a Hampton Bays man on manslaughter charges , the taxi driver's family reacted to the news.
"We're very upset," said Jeannette Levasseur, mother of Robert Levasseur, the Riverhead taxi driver who died in April after a Hampton Bays incident. "It's devastating."
Levasseur, a , died from injuries related to an incident that occurred on Montauk Highway near the Chase Bank in Hampton Bays on April 21.
According to, Robert Levasseur of Riverhead, 53, was allegedly struck in the head by Kenneth Tofty-Forrest, 27, of Hampton Bays. The police report stated that Levasseur suffered "significant face and head injuries" and was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center by medevac and later transferred to Stony Brook University Medical Center, where he died.
Last week, a Suffolk County grand jury assault in the third degree and not manslaughter. If convicted of assault, Tofty-Forrest faces a year in jail. After appearing in court last week for court conferences, he is due back in court on Sept. 12.
Levasseur's mother questions why Tofty-Forrest allegedly struck her son and did not instead just try to intervene verbally during an incident involving him and Hampton Bays resident
According to Miller, Tofty-Forrest was coming to her defense.
After learning of the grand jury's decision not to indict Tofty-Forrest on manslaughter charges, Miller said, "I think it's great. He was there to do the right thing, and things worked out." Justice, she said, was "absolutely" served.
But Levasseur's sister Lisa Schletch said the decision of the grand jury not to indict Tofty-Forrest for manslaughter "seems unjust. This is horrible. We're very upset. Even though the grand jury felt his intention wasn't to murder my brother, the outcome was death. This is beyond assault. My brother didn't survive this."
Schletch, who said she is very "upset and disappointed," added that her family is contemplating a civil suit. "We're getting through this right now," she said. "We were hoping for justice but it doesn't look like that's going to happen."
Her brother, Schletch said, was an easygoing, Christian man who attended church every Sunday and had no criminal record or history of violence.
The tragedy, Schletch said, has impacted her entire family. "It's hard, because I keep getting flashbacks of seeing him in the hospital during those five days. His injuries were so horrific."