When Larry Siedlick spoke to the best friend of the man who was struck and killed while crossing Main Street in Amagansett on Tuesday night, he was moved to try and help bring the driver to justice.
Siedlick is offering his own $5,000 reward for information that leads police to arrest the driver, who fled the scene after the accident. The total reward money has grown to $10,000 in less than 72 hours after the accident; Crime Stoppers of Suffolk County had already posted up to on Wednesday.
"I was really struck by his pain," Siedlick said of .
At 61, Siedlick is the same age as Judge, who died after a passerby found his body on the street. Judge was returning to his rental, on the south side of Main Street, after a dinner across the street at Lupo's restaurant, Astro Pizza.
Siedlick, an Amagansett homeowner and businessman, didn't know Judge, but recognized his face from around town. "He was a member of this community."
In an open letter to appeal to residents — posted with this story — Siedlick said, "Although I didn’t know Mr. Judge personally, I am doing this because his story and the words of his friends touched me. He was a member of my community. He has no voice as the victim."
"It could have been anybody," Siedlick said, while sitting at the pizzeria. "I'm in the village here all the time. I'm crossing that street all the time."
He hopes the added reward money will help keep the incident fresh on people's minds. "I'm hoping it makes somebody have a conscience, that knows something will come forward."
Siedlick said in the letter, "I do know that sometimes those of us who are fortunate in life need to use that good fortune to help bring justice for someone who no longer has the voice."
As Lupo gets ready to give a final goodbye to his friend, during a service on Saturday, he said he was overcome by Siedlick's generosity. "I can't believe how people really can be this nice," he said, and he hopes it makes a difference to the driver or those who know him or her.
"They have to live with this for the rest of their lives."
Anyone with information about the accident is asked to do the following: call the East Hampton Town Police Detective Division at 631-537-7575 or email detectives at email@example.com, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.
Tipsters may also text tips to the Suffolk County Police Department at CRIMES (274637) and text SCPD, plus the message. You may also go to www.tipsubmit.com. All calls will be kept confidential.