The grief of a loss of a loved one can cause people to do unexpected things, out of depression, dismay and despair. Life for a grieving partner, spouse, child or parent can only get worse, however, if actions spurred by grief end up in DWI charges. Such was the case this week in New Dorp, New York when Kelly Catapano, a 35-year-old from Staten Island, drove drunk at the cemetery where her deceased boyfriend was laid to rest.

The New York Post reports that Ms. Catapano had been drinking and driving through the Moravian Cemetery on Sunday, when she allegedly drove into a freshly dug open grave. She told workers that she was trying to turn onto a driveway to the street, but instead drove onto a footpath that led to the grave that they were working on digging. Ms. Catapano’s car drove into the grave about four feet, and had to be towed out by an New York Police Department tow truck.

When police officers arrived at the scene, Ms. Catapano allegedly smelled strongly of alcohol and was not able to stand up with ease. Ms. Catapano refused to take a field sobriety test, but took a chemical test. The chemical test results came back that Ms. Catapano’s blood alcohol content was .247%, which is three times the legal limit of .08%.

Ms. Catapano had been visiting the mausoleum belonging to Frank Fresca, her boyfriend who had been shot and killed in 2008 in a mob-style execution. Mr. Fresca had owned and operated a restaurant called Fresca’s on the Bay, which was the scene of the murder and a popular place for hopeful gangster recruits. Mr. Fresca had been shot in the head and chest nine times, but his murder has gone unsolved.

According to, the drunk driving incident at the cemetery is not the first time Ms. Catapano has violated DWI laws, or criminal laws in general, for that matter. The cemetery DWI charge is Ms. Catapano’s third DWI charge in the last five years, the previous two occurred in November and December of 2008, after Mr. Fresca’s death. Ms. Catapano was charged with trespass in March 2009, when Mr. Fresca’s ex-wife, who had evicted Ms. Catapano from Mr. Fresca’s townhouse, found her in the townhouse and called police. Ms. Catapano was also convicted of seventh-degree possession of a controlled substance in 2010.

Under New York DWI laws, Ms. Catapano will now likely face felony DWI charges and aggravated DWI charges for the cemetery accident. If convicted, Ms. Catapano could face jail time, license suspension, and heavy monetary penalties, among other consequences. She is scheduled to appear at the Stapleton Criminal Court on Friday.

Multiple DWI and Aggravated DWI charges are serious charges under New York law. If you have been charged with violation DWI laws, your best line of defense is to immediately contact an experienced DWI attorney. Call the experienced attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys today at 1-866-792-7800 for a confidential consultation.

The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.