Ethan Villavicencio, 7, Killed by Motorist Inside Bronx Restaurant [Updated]

A motorist drove into a Bronx restaurant Thursday, killing 7-year-old Ethan Villavicencio and injuring the boy’s sister and father.

[Update: According to court records, Oduro was charged with one D felony count and two misdemeanor counts of leaving the scene of an accident with injury, plus one traffic infraction. Class D felonies carry penalties ranging from probation to seven years in prison. DA Robert Johnson filed no charges for the act of killing Ethan Villavicencio.]

Ethan, his 5-year-old sister and their dad were eating ice cream in Kennedy Fried Chicken at 3275 Westchester Avenue in Pelham Bay at around 5:30 p.m. when a man backed an SUV through the storefront, according to reports.

Ethan Villavicencio
Ethan Villavicencio

From the Daily News:

A Mercedes-Benz SUV reversed into the restaurant, shattering glass, overturning tables and pinning the boy against a side wall, witnesses said.

“There was a crater where the boy hit the wall,” said bus driver Luis Cruz, 52.

Ethan lay on the floor, conscious but barely able to move, Cruz said. His sister and father stood over him.

“The father was a bloody mess. He was covered with blood and he was trying to tend to his son. The blood from his face was dripping down on the boy,” Cruz said. “It was heartbreaking.”

As witnesses pounded on the vehicle, screaming at the driver that there were children under the car, the man drove away, heading west on Westchester Avenue before he was stopped by witnesses and traffic enforcement agents, reports said.

“One gentleman opened the door to try to grab the driver out to keep him from getting away,” witness Luis Cruz told the Post. “He [the driver] just pushed the gas and the person just couldn’t hold on.”

Ethan was reportedly conscious at the scene but died at Jacobi Medical Center. His sister and father were hospitalized.

Kwasi Oduro, 73, of the Bronx, was charged with one count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and two counts of leaving the scene of an injury crash, according to WPIX.

Police said Oduro was attempting to park when the crash occurred. Video of the crash shows the driver backing parallel to the curb before accelerating across the sidewalk into the storefront, pausing for a few seconds, then speeding away.

Had this driver not fled the scene he would in all likelihood not have been charged with a crime. In March a speeding green cab driver fatally struck 5-year-old Tierre Clark on a Grand Concourse sidewalk, and last October a motorist killed 8-year-old Rylee Ramos and hit nine other people on the sidewalk outside a school in Kingsbridge. Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson filed no charges against either of those drivers.

Ethan and his sister were the second and third children hit by curb-jumping motorists in four days. On Monday a driver ran over 4-year-old Oscar Chen on the sidewalk outside a grocery store in Sunset Park. Miraculously, Oscar was not seriously hurt. NYPD and Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson filed no charges against the driver.

Ethan Villavicencio was at least the fourth child age 14 and under killed by a New York City driver in 2015, and the 12th child victim since January 2014, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog. It was reported this week that 8-year-old Sincere Atkins, hit as he played outside his grandmother’s Queens apartment building on Memorial Day, died days later from his injuries. NYPD and Queens DA Richard Brown filed no charges.

Ethan was killed the day after family and classmates of Cooper Stock designated W. 97th Street at West End Avenue as Cooper Stock Way. Cooper, 9, was killed by a turning cab driver in January 2014 as he and his father crossed the street in the crosswalk with the signal. The driver was not charged with a crime by Manhattan DA Cy Vance.

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