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

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.

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