The biography on the Golly Gee Records website describes Ralph Rebel thusly : “the DNA of Scotty Moore mixed with that of Dick Dale.” Sadly, Newsday’s Christine Armario and James Fitzpatrick refer to the late Ralph Santiago (above, center, shown with Brian Setzer) as the “Overweight Burglar.”
Ralph Santiago faced up to 15 years in prison for burglary following an embarrassing trial in which he argued that he was too overweight to have fit through a neighbor’s window and stolen jewelry and electronics.
After failing to show up for his sentencing Wednesday, police say, he decided to end his life instead, apparently committing suicide in a Copiague motel, where his body was found Saturday morning. Suffolk police said there no signs of foul play. Police said Santiago, 41, of Lindenhurst, checked in to the South Bay Motel a couple of days before and was found in his room by the motel manager. Authorities declined to comment on how he had killed himself.
His attorney, Howard Knispel of Commack, had Santiago stand behind a replica of the window to demonstrate how a man of 275 pounds could not fit in a 22-inch opening. Prosecutors showed the jury a videotape of a 6-foot, 325-pound Suffolk police sergeant clearing the same window in seconds. On June 13, a jury found Santiago guilty.