Jusheem Thorne’s Hit-and-Run Killers Have Little to Fear

A 25-year-old man was brutally killed by two hit-and-run drivers in Crown Heights early Wednesday.

According to reports, Jusheem Thorne was riding his skateboard in the crosswalk on Rochester Avenue at Eastern Parkway when he was hit by the driver of a maroon Mercury minivan racing to beat the light. As he lay injured in the street, he was run over by the driver of a white Acura. Neither driver stopped. The Daily News spoke with a witness who watched the massacre unfold:

Jusheem Thorne. Photo via WABC

Tyrone said the driver barely slowed down and fled westbound in the local lane of Eastern Parkway, toward Utica Ave. He said it was only moments later that the man was struck a second time as he lay in the middle of Eastern Parkway.

“I was about to chase the van so I could see the plates and then here comes another car, a white Acura, and it rolled over him and just kept on going,” he said. Tyrone said the Acura was heading east and had a green light.

Tyrone said the man appeared to be hurt but conscious after being slammed by the minivan, but the second impact left him lifeless.

“He was moving at first, but when the second car rolled over him, he stopped moving. He was completely still,” he said.

The savagery of these crimes is chilling. In a civil society, where having a foot on the gas pedal is not by default considered a mitigating circumstance, the Acura driver at least would be subject to a second-degree murder charge and a lengthy prison term. But this is New York, where judges coddle criminals who kill in the act of fleeing police and prosecutors seek leniency for hit-and-run drivers who cop to manslaughter. At this point there can be no testing for intoxication — not that they couldn’t have avoided a DWI charge regardless. As for leaving the scene, a simple “I didn’t see him” usually does the trick.

The sad fact is that, assuming either of these killers are caught, they are likely to receive little to no jail time, and may reasonably be expected to retain their driving privileges.

Jusheem Thorne was killed on the border of the 71st and 77th Precincts. To voice your concerns about traffic safety directly to Inspector Peter Simonetti or Deputy Inspector Elvio Capocci, the precincts’ respective commanding officers, head to their next precinct community council meeting. The 71st Precinct council meetings happen at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at MS 61, located at 400 Empire Boulevard. The 77th council meets at 7:30 p.m. every second Monday at 127 Utica Avenue.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve harped on this before: but why doesn’t this type of amazingly awful death get blasted from every media outlet in the country, the same way that terrible elevator accident a few months back was? I mean, that elevator event was an actual accident: a machine malfunctioned. There were human errors involved in that, if you follow the causal trail back far enough. But here the agency is absolutely clear and immediate: two humans, independent of each other, mowed down a third. It’s *outrageous*.

  • Next time anyone claims we don’t have the resources for traffic enforcement, or investigations into accidents, we’d do well to keep this in mind: The NYPD has the time and resources to be manufacturing criminal offenses for marijuana arrests, and that’s despite a judge’s order to stop: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/30/nypd-stop-and-frisk-marijuana


  • KillMoto

    While I hope the killers are held accountable for this homicide and I empathize for the loved ones he leaves behind, I can’t help but think there’s a better way to prevent killings like this.In quality control there’s the “one-ten-one hundred” rule.  Catch a mistake in design, it costs $1 to fix.  Catch it on the manufacturing floor, it costs $10.  To fix the same defect in the field, it costs $100.Similarly, for every ONE person convicted of an “operating a motor vehicle, death resulting” offense, there are TEN deaths, a HUNDRED close calls, and a THOUSAND acts of recklessness. As much as I’d like to see the NYPD seriously investigate, and the DA prosecute, the perpetrators of the TEN killings, perhaps what we need to focus on is the THOUSAND acts of recklessness. I think we need to leverage 21st century technology.  Implement robo-car technologies and V2V (vehicle to vehicle) and V2I (vehicle to infrastructure) tech to track motorists (eliminate anonymity, eliminate hit-and-run drivers’ escape).  The V2V, V2I and robo-assist driving would be built to **prevent** people from speeding and from running red lights.  We need to vigorously attack the THOUSAND acts of recklessness if we are to make roads safer.  Road design is a big part.  Law enforcement is a red herring.  Automation is the only cost effective, pervasive way to lower the body count. I have great empathy for Jusheem and feel for the loved ones he leaves behind.  It’s sick he had to die so someone could “make the yellow.”

  • Unaluna

    Thanks for writing about this, Jusheem aka Casper. Was such a light, and a sweet charismatic intelligent funny person. What happened was horrific and it has affected so many people.


Why Is NYPD Defending Hit-and-Run Drivers to the Press?

Update: The victim in the Rockaway Parkway crash was identified as Alex Davis, according to DNAinfo. Police said he was hit by the driver of a Ford Mustang. The driver remained at large as of November 7. Hit-and-run drivers have killed two New York City pedestrians in the past week. After each crash NYPD sources […]