Another NYPD high-speed pursuit ended in a crash over the weekend. This time, an innocent bystander is dead.
The Daily News reports that on Saturday, a Range Rover driven by Martin Ocasio struck and killed cyclist Pablo Pasaras in Long Island City. Ocasio, who had nine prior arrests, was fleeing police after he was seen buying drugs. As cops in an unmarked car chased him on 21st Street, Ocasio was reportedly driving on the wrong side of the road. When he tried to get back in the right lane Ocasio hit a parked car and Pasaras, who was pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital Center.
Pasaras, 27, was on a food delivery run to a housing police precinct. He had three kids.
A witness said the police cruiser did not have its lights or sirens on. In April, several witnesses reported that police driving without lights and sirens were chasing the mini-van driver who hit and killed pedestrian Violetta Kryzak on Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn. The commanding officer of the precinct denies that a chase occurred.
In June, nine people, including five pedestrians, were injured when officers responding to a call in a marked NYPD squad car collided with another car and careened onto an East Village sidewalk. Witnesses said the cruiser’s lights and sirens were off, though NYPD claims otherwise.
Last month, a pedestrian and motorcyclist were struck by a man fleeing the NYPD in Washington Heights following an armed mugging. Police opened fire after the car hit a line of parked vehicles on 188th Street, shooting the driver dead.