By peter A. Sutters Jr.
Matthew Tedesco, 15, of Bellerose, was struck and killed on Nov. 15, 2002 as he crossed the street after stepping off a city bus on his way to spend the night at a friend's house nearby.Pierre Bedette, 24, of South Jamaica, was taken into custody at his home Friday night after a series of talks with suspects led to his arrest, according to police. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it, which is a felony, according to the DA. Marie Tedesco, Matthew's mother, said her son was killed by the driver of a 2000 Nissan Maxima right after he stepped off a city bus with a friend. He was a 10th-grader at Martin Van Buren High School and the second of three sons.Detective Kenneth Meringolo of the NYPD Highway Patrol Unit said tips from suspects already under investigation did lead to Bedette's arrest, but he could not comment on the reasons why they were being investigated.A spokesman for the DA said that the charge carries a punishment of up to four years in jail.”I definitely want more,” said Tedesco. She said she could not imagine how someone could do strike a pedestrian and not stop.”You had to know you did something,” said Marie Tedesco. “It's hard to believe.” “I wish there could be a more serious charge against him,” said Russell Tedesco, the boy's father.According to the criminal complaint filed by the DA, Bedette admitted he was driving the car at the time of the accident, but he said he had a green light and tried to avoid Matthew Tedesco. But it was too late and when he hit him, he was too scared to stop the car and left, the complaint said. Bedette was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Saturday and had his bail set at $50,000. His next court date is Feb. 10 in Queens County Criminal Court. “I am definitely going to be at court on Feb. 10,” said Tedesco. “I want to see what he looks like.” Russell Tedesco said the arrest was a “mixed blessing” for the family.”There's closure in a sense that the uncertainty has been settled,” said Russell Tedsesco. “But at the same time it's the beginning of a new phase.”Russell Tedesco added that Meringolo had worked tirelessly on the case and did not let the family give up hope that his son's killer would be caught.Reach reporter Peter A. Sutters Jr. by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext 173.