Retired NYPD Officer Pleads to Homicide in Killing of Bronx Pedestrian Marino Nunez

Jorge Hernaiz, who worked at the 43rd Precinct, had a BAC of .25 when he fatally struck Nunez on Broadway in Riverdale, then tried to remove the victim from underneath his car.

Broadway at W. 254th Street, where Jorge Hernaiz fatally struck Marino Nunez in 2015. A plan to make this stretch of Broadway safer for walking and biking is under attack from Bronx Community Board 8. Photo: Google Maps
Broadway at W. 254th Street, where Jorge Hernaiz fatally struck Marino Nunez in 2015. A plan to make this stretch of Broadway safer for walking and biking is under attack from Bronx Community Board 8. Photo: Google Maps

A retired NYPD officer who killed a Bronx pedestrian while driving drunk has pled guilty to homicide.

Jorge Hernaiz struck 34-year-old Marino Nunez at W. 254th Street and Broadway in Riverdale at around 3 a.m. on May 31, 2015. Hernaiz, then 44, had just exited the Henry Hudson Parkway before he ran over the victim with a Toyota sedan.

According to the criminal complaint [PDF], police found Nunez on the ground with part of his skull missing. Hernaiz had bloodshot eyes, smelled of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet, and at one point “fell over spontaneously,” the complaint says. He told police he had been drinking vodka and beer while shooting pool before attempting to drive home to Yonkers. Police found a mostly empty vodka bottle in Hernaiz’s car.

Witnesses called 911 as Hernaiz tried to remove Nunez from underneath the car, the Bronx district attorney’s office said in a press release [PDF].

Hernaiz, who worked at the 43rd Precinct in the Bronx for 14 years and retired in 2008, consented to a blood draw at the scene, but fought police when they tried to put him in handcuffs. His blood alcohol content was measured at .25, more than three times the legal limit for driving.

Nunez, father of two, died days after the crash.

Then-DA Robert Johnson charged Hernaiz with aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of manslaughter, three counts of driving drunk, reckless driving, and resisting arrest.

According to court records, earlier this month Hernaiz pled guilty to the top charge — aggravated vehicular homicide, a class B felony with penalties ranging from one to 25 years in jail. He is scheduled to be sentenced in August.

Bronx Community Board 8 is currently resisting a DOT plan to make Broadway safer for walking and biking from W. 242nd Street to the Yonkers city limits, along the border of Van Cortlandt Park.

  • Ken Dodd

    Let me guess – previous leniency shown to him in the past by fellow cops who have stopped him for drink driving, instilled in Hernaiz the sense of immunity which no doubt contributed toward his decision to drive home drunk on the night when he killed Mr Nunez. NYPD corruption kills.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I wonder what happened that caused him to retire after 14 years at age 37?

  • Joe R.

    That caught my attention as well. I sincerely hope he wasn’t receiving a pension. If he is, then it’s small wonder NYC is going broke paying people who have another 25+ viable working years a pension.

  • Vooch

    in some Cal cities 50% of public safety retire early on disability

  • Maggie

    Wonder where his sentence will rank with what a civilian would get for driving drunk, 0.25 BAC, then running over and killing a cop.

  • Maggie

    And, I hope every active city employee has access to very good substance abuse treatment programs and is encouraged to use them to get well. They deserve it. And it’s terrifying to think workplaces are normalizing drunk driving.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG