Cops: Looks killed in Bada Bing case
Cafe Bada Bing (Photo by James Carbone)
May 21, 2006
BY JOSEPH MALLIA
Newsday Staff Writer
May 24, 2006
The slaying of a part-time bouncer at the Cafe Bada Bing in Port Jefferson Station was sparked by what police say was suspect Daniel Callahan's "bizarre" reaction when the bouncer told him he looked like a police officer, authorities said.
Callahan, 37, who was arraigned on second-degree murder charges in the death of William Moschinger on Tuesday, was ordered held at Suffolk County jail without bail.
It was after spending hours Saturday night at the bar drinking and using cocaine with Moschinger, 46, of Selden, that Callahan responded with murderous rage to the comment about his appearance, said Lt. Det. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Suffolk County homicide squad. The bar's owners have declined to comment.
"They ended up on the rear deck of the cafe and Mr. Moschinger asked Mr. Callahan if he was a police officer, apparently because of his clean-cut appearance," Fitzpatrick said. "Apparently that angered Mr. Callahan, and a fight ensued."
In a fistfight, Callahan knocked Moschinger to the ground, then "Mr. Callahan picked up a nearby cinder block and crushed his head," the detective said.
Fitzpatrick said he did not understand why someone would take offense at being told he looked like a police officer, but "it certainly seemed to provoke Mr. Callahan."
Moschinger did odd jobs at the bar, and Saturday night checked IDs at the door, police said. His family could not be reached for comment.
Police said Callahan told them about the fatal fight after he was arrested in Lindenhurst at the Venetian Shores Park where he was getting ready to run a youth soccer clinic.
His lawyer, John LoTurco of Huntington, said Callahan acted in self defense. "There was an altercation, with both of them punching," LoTurco said.
Though police said Callahan is homeless and sometimes sleeps in his car, he told his lawyer he lives in West Babylon, LoTurco said.
Before a series of personal disasters and drug use landed him at the scene of the Bada Bing murder, Callahan led what his defense lawyer called an upstanding and wholesome life as a soccer player and trainer.
"The police are alleging an intentional homicidal act, yet that allegation is completely divergent from Daniel Callahan's background and character," LoTurco said. "Mr. Callahan led an impeccable life. He was an all-America soccer player ... and has no prior criminal record."
Raised in Port Jefferson Station, in the 1980s Callahan was all-Long Island goalie for Comsewogue High School; an all-American goalie for Farmingdale State University of New York; and an all-conference, record-setting goalie at Fordham University after transferring there, according to Newsday stories. He later played for the Long Island Rough Riders, a professional soccer team, before going into business as a trainer under the company name Direct Soccer, his lawyer said.
He earned a master's degree in environmental science at Stony Brook University and worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratory before he lost the job due to substance abuse, police said.
Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.