No Charges for Alleged Drunken Hit-and-Run Death of Brooklyn Woman

Contrary to media reports, the Domino’s Pizza delivery driver accused of killing pedestrian Margaret Myers in Brooklyn earlier this month is not facing charges for her death.

Margaret Myers. Photo via New York Post

NYPD sources told the Post and Daily News that Videsh Badal was drunk and driving with a suspended a license when he ran down Myers, 69, on Wortman Avenue in East New York on the evening of March 7. Badal kept driving. When a witness caught up with Badal and confronted him, he reportedly replied, “Well, who’s going to pay for my car?”

The papers reported that Badal was charged with manslaughter, DWI, resisting arrest and leaving the scene. But an online court database shows that leaving the scene is the current top charge against Badal. Other charges include third degree aggravated unlicensed operation and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

A spokesperson at the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes confirmed that Badal has not been charged for killing Myers. The spokesperson said the manslaughter charge could have been issued by NYPD, but dropped by Hynes’s office. The spokesperson said the case is now with the grand jury and said he could not speculate whether charges might be upgraded.

Another facet of this case, like many others, is that as far as readers of the Post and Daily News know, justice has been served. City media sometimes take notice when a killer driver is charged and gets off easy, but most often the public is left to assume that a commensurate charge will be levied, followed by a sentence that fits the crime, when in reality most cases end with a slap on the wrist.

According to the online database, Badal isn’t scheduled to return to court until September. He is currently being held on $20,000 bond, the Hynes spokesperson said.

  • Joe R.

    Based on what I read, it seems we could have a significant reduction in pedestrian/cyclist fatalities just by keeping drivers with suspended or revoked licenses from driving. We need a law with real teeth which allows the police to seize and auction off the vehicle of anyone caught driving without a license. Since the majority of those caught couldn’t afford to buy a replacement vehicle, they would be prevented from driving. Oh, and if you’re caught driving with a suspended or revoked license, or DWI, then you lose your driving privileges permanently, as in for the remainder of your natural life. At the same time though, we need to change the law so your license can only be suspended for moving violations, not unpaid parking tickets. The goal here is to get the worst drivers off the road, hopefully for good.

  • Ian Dutton

    Today’s headlines: “Dog Bites Man, No Charges Filed Against Dog”,  “Man Kills Pedestrian With Car, No Charges Filed Against Man”. Slow news day.

  • Eric McClure

    Guess the City Council needs to repeat that NYPD oversight hearing with the five District Attorneys’ offices.

  • Great report Brad.  The point about the distortions of day-of and day-after reports is so true. Glad we have Streetsblog investigating these stories.

  • Anon

    And this is so far from the “I was driving sober under the speed limit and they ran across the street” situation.  If someone is driving drunk, with a suspended license, flees the scene, etc, and they can’t be held accountable, why is this system so F’d up???

  • Harold Story

    Speechless.  I mean if you can’t get one like this right…

  • Voter

    Hey, Jess Lappin, how about a $1000 fine for drivers who operate a vehicle without a valid license?

  • Anonymous

    “Well, who’s going to pay for my car?”: The international slogan of murderous drivers.

  • Killer Cars

    I understand that Badal wasn’t charged with her death so that the headline here is technically correct if read narrowly.  However, I think it is misleading in that it implies that Badal was charged with nothing when, in fact, as the article says, he was charged with leaving the scene, operating a motor vehicle without a license and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.  I love Streetsblog but the way to neutralize mainstream media spin isn’t to spin in the other direction a la Fox News. You tend to lose credibility when you do that and for such a niche cause as livable streets, credibility is paramount if you want to win converts.

    Lucky for me, I’m already a believer.

  • Eric McClure

    @14a8960ffa19c6b0ffff4264aba1f641:disqus , I think the point is that Badal would have received the other three charges whether he’d hit Margaret Myers or a mailbox.  In fact, he might have been charged with destruction of Federal property or some such thing had he struck a mailbox.  Someone — either the DA or the NYPD — is saying, essentially, that Margaret Myers life had zero value.  And that’s just completely and utterly wrong.

    And livable streets is hardly a niche cause — we all use the streets, and we all should be able to expect that if we’re struck down dead through someone else’s negligence, there should at least be some consequences for the striker.

  • Killer Cars

    Eric,
    I get the point of the headline but as I said before I think it’s ambiguous and a little misleading.  When I first read it I thought there were absolutely no charges whatsoever.  I had to read on to see that what it really meant was that the driver wasn’t charged specifically with the death (and I agree that he should have been).

    As for “niche cause,” I guess I was being ambiguous too.  I didn’t mean that it’s not an important cause — of course it is.  What I meant to say is that in my experience most people don’t care much about the issue.

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