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Queens DA Files Misdemeanor Charge Against Ibrihim Ahmed’s Killer

12:51 PM EST on January 16, 2009

danbet.jpgQueens DA Richard A. Brown with Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum. Photo: Queens District Attorney's Office

Alexander Aponte, the driver who hit and killed nine-year-old Ibrihim Ahmed, will be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle -- driving without a license -- according to a spokesperson with the Queens district attorney's office.

Aponte, 22, was driving a campaign bus for City Council candidate Mike Ricatto when he hit Ibrihim as he was crossing a street in Ozone Park on January 6. The child died at the scene.

"What we do is charge by the laws on the books," said the spokesperson, when asked why additional charges were not warranted. "If Albany changes the law based on a victim's injury or death, we would change the way we charge."

The ADA in the Aponte case is Lauren Silverman -- information the spokesperson was hesitant to release.

Regardless of whether Silverman enjoys greater discretion than her office is letting on, this makes the City Council's handling of Resolution 145 all the more infuriating. Earlier this week, a hearing on the reso, which would entreat state lawmakers to toughen penalties for those who drive with suspended or revoked licenses, was cut short. According to accounts, Public Safety Committee Chair Peter Vallone interrupted the testimony of several citizens, one of whom lost a child to a driver whose offense, in the eyes of police and prosecutors (also in Queens), didn't rate as much as a traffic summons.

Aponte will appear in court on February 25. The charge against him is an unclassified misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and/or up to 30 days in jail. 

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