Brooklyn DA Investigating Crash That Killed 10-Year-Old

Cops blame the victim and make excuses for the driver of an SUV who ran amok in Midwood.

The bus stop where 10-year-old Enzo Farachio was killed by an out-of-control driver.
The bus stop where 10-year-old Enzo Farachio was killed by an out-of-control driver.

Brooklyn’s top prosecutor says that he is investigating the crash  that this week killed a 10-year-old boy on his way home from school in Midwood.

“This incident is under investigation,”Oren Yaniv, spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez,  said on Wednesday.

Yaniv said that Gonzalez had visited the scene on Ocean Avenue near Avenue L a few hours after the 59-year-old driver — identified by the New York Post as 60-year-old Alexander Katchaloft — suddenly “veered to the right,” hopped the curb, and fatally struck the little boy, Enzo Farachio, who was waiting for the bus at about 2:45 p.m.

Yaniv’s announcement of an investigation came after police tried to shift blame for the fatal crash onto the dead child, telling news outlets  that the youngster was “looking at his phone and did not see the vehicle coming” as the out-of-control driver approached. Police also seemed to bend over backward to make excuses for the driver — saying that he may have suffered what they termed “a medical episode.” A police department spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the kind or duration of the episode, citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

After striking Farachio, the driver and his grey Lexus SUV careened into an Ocean Avenue building, causing scaffolding around the structure to collapse. He also injured a young passenger in his vehicle.

Prosecutors and police have not made any arrests or issued any tickets. Cops would not answer questions about whether the driver was speeding or distracted, but the twisted wreck and destroyed scaffolding suggest that he may have been going above Ocean Avenue’s 25 miles-per-hour speed limit. Moreover, the car he was driving recently had racked up four school-zone speed-camera violations.

The fatal crash, which was caught on video, reminded some of the horrific moments in August when speeding motorist Mirza Baig, 18, crashed into another vehicle, snuffing the life of cyclist Jose Alzorriz, On Aug. 11,  Baig flew down Coney Island Avenue, ran a red light at Avenue L, and T-boned a minivan that then slammed into Alzorriz as he waited on his bike for the light to turn green.

Both Alzorriz and Farachio were obeying the rules as their lives ended — waiting innocently in their allotted street space as other road users turned their cars into lethal weapons.

“This tragedy is testament to the fact that there is virtually no place in the city where residents are safe from the onslaught of cars  — not in the crosswalk, not in the bike lane, not even on the sidewalk,” said Danny Harris, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “Crashes like these are not accidents, but the preventable and predictable result of a city where cars, not people, are the priority. As a result, children like this 10-year-old boy and hundreds of others pay the price with their lives each and every year.”

The crash that killed Farachio reminded some of another fatal encounter between a motorist and pedestrians in Brooklyn — March 2018 Park Slope crash in which out-of-control motorist Dorothy Bruns fatally struck four-year-old Abigail Blumenstein and 20-month-old Joshua Lew and injured their mothers, Ruthie Ann Blumenstein and Lauren Lew. That crash also took the life of Blumenstein’s unborn child months later.

Prosecutors discovered that Bruns should never have been on the road because of a medical condition — and charged her with manslaughter and homicide. Bruns later killed herself.

Gonzalez said that his office had charged another driver who suffered a medical episode while behind the wheel, and that prosecutors are now scrutinizing Katchaloft’s medical history.

“We’re investigating. We’re being told that it was a potential medical situation,” Gonzalez said at the scene, according to the Daily News. “As you’re awarem we’ve had two prior cases since I’ve been the D.A. where someone had a medical episode. And we’re going to be looking into whether or not in fact that was the case, and whether or not the person should be behind the wheel.”

Farachio is at least the 150th person killed on the streets of New York City this year — a 17 percent jump from 2018, according to the Department of Transportation.

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  • Larry Littlefield

    You’ve got to be kidding.

    “The youngster was ‘looking at his phone and did not see the vehicle coming’ as the out-of-control driver approached.”

    Next an SUV will crash into a house at 4 am and kill someone inside, and they will say the cause of death was the person in the house was sleeping and did not get out of the way.

  • Someone ought to write a handbook for how to avoid reckless driving charges. “I didn’t see him” “I didn’t mean to lose control” “I was late for an appointment” “I had a ‘medical episode'” It’d be a goddamn bestseller.

  • Andy Gilbert

    Regardless of whether this is a medical incident, this driver should lose their license for life. There are two possibilities: one is that they are a criminally negligent driver, in which case they should also rot in jail for several years. The other is that they have such severe medical problems that we don’t know whether they will pass out at the wheel again, and for the safety of the rest of society they must be restricted from ever getting behind the wheel again.

  • crazytrainmatt

    The video shows the driver passing through the intersection just before the bus stop with cross traffic waiting to make a left turn, suggesting he ran a red light by quite a bit.

    I would not say the car “veered” (as the Post does), rather it followed a straight course onto the sidewalk. Another couple of feet and he would have missed the kid.

    This suggests the driver travelled several hundred feet without any awareness of his environment, and are far more relevant than the 10-year old victim not having the awareness level of a special forces agent.

  • Reader

    I think that guidebook exists. It’s called the New York Post.

  • the flack at NYPD who released that statement needs to named, shamed, and fired. this statement is disgusting. these people are out to make sure we die. that, as far as i can tell, is their job.

    f-ck it, i’m running for mayor. statement of why forthcoming.

  • neroden

    Reckless driving is a criminal charge. It is never filed against anyone. Why not?

  • Vooch

    Betcha “Alexander Katchalof” is a member of one of the protected classes.

  • PDiddy

    Explain.

  • Joe R.

    Dion’t forget the old tried and true classic: “The car suddenly accelerated on its own.”

    Translation: I’m a dumb, incompetent shit who can’t even remember which side the brake is on and which side the accelerator is on.

  • Isaac B

    I’ve Googled this driver and found interesting history. I also have a sneaking hypothesis about a. why there’s a criminal investigation and b. what the “medical episode” might have been.

  • bettybarcode

    Seems like there’s nothing the NYPD & DOTs across the land would like nothing more than to be able to legislate our gaze.

  • Joe R.

    Too bad you didn’t run in the last election. You would have easily gotten my vote over the spineless, ineffectual, pandering jackass currently occupying Gracie Mansion.

  • Vooch

    Protected classes have special get-out-of-jail-free cards. They can be connected to important pols, siblings of cops, etc.,etc., etc.

    In California, Familiy members of cops get special plates.

  • Vooch

    pray tell, enquiring minds want to know

  • Isaac B

    Come on, Vooch. I always took you for the curious type. I wouldn’t want to just lay it all out. Have you Googled? Maybe later, I’ll write some more.

  • Vooch

    nickname “Muruska” – Jewish Mobsters ?

    wow thats a find !!!

  • Vooch

    Its worth reading the entire grand jury link – its a civil asset forfiture case of $50 million bucks – Fifth Ave. and Madison Ave. Apartments. a Art Gallery in the Carlye, etc. etc etc

    Its the stuff of a tremendous movie script.

    There is even a corrupted manager of a JP Morgen branch

    A couple of CT WASPs with gambking debts

    Fake artworks

    and the usual Mob stuff

    The nicknames are to die for.

  • Isaac B

    When you asked who “Katchaloft” was (and considering that he was driving a Lexus), I also wondered if he was of some protected class.

    The people in the indictment (and subsequent pleas and convictions) include reputed top lieutenants of the reputed worldwide head of “Russian” organized crime. So, it’s a fair guess that Katchaloff has powerful friends, but potentially powerful enemies.

    Combining that, plus my impression from the video (no sudden course correction or braking) led me to suspect that Katchaloff was incapacitated rather than distracted. And that the causes could be “other than natural”, say poison or a bullet. (Of course, in pictures – he has a Facebook profile – he does not look like a healthy man. He has a history of speeding. And drivers text.)

    It’s also curious that in Wednesday’s Daily News, Enzo Faraccio’s father was blaming the driver. In today’s News, he was forgiving. I wonder what happened in the interim. I picture in my mind 2-3 big cars and a half dozen tough looking men pulling up in front of the Faracchio home. Some of the men bear flowers. Others bear baked goods. Inside, the men express concern and condolences and promise to support the family “and let’s settle this like people of honor”.

    By the way, the gambling episode was a movie by Aaron Sorkin, “Molly’s Game”, which I saw.

  • Jose M

    No wonder .. there was no ticket issue to the driver it explains as you guys put it he’s connected

  • Vooch

    Katchaloff seemed to have been one of the team operated the online gambling gig.

    You got the scene down perfectly with the visitors to the family. Although I think it would be only one massive SUV with 3 guys, driver stays in car.

    I worked many years in NYC construction and once you’ve seen these characters in real life; you wonder ‘are they emulating the movies or do the movies emulate them ?’

    I especially liked the tidbit in the indictment about laundering money through a plumbing business that the gang owned 50% of , as the result of paying off a gambling debt.

    The Carlyle Art Gallery Gal must be a piece of work, I been there many many times, but sadly never took too much notice of the little shops.

  • Joe R.

    Well, they got the sequel to “Molly’s Game” here. Just let this current episode play out.

    Inside, the men express concern and condolences and promise to support the family “and let’s settle this like people of honor”.

    You forgot to add the part that “settling” things their way isn’t an option for the family. In a thick Russian accent: “Let’s settle this matter like reasonable men. After all, we wouldn’t want anything unfortunate to happen.” (like other members of the family accidentally getting hit by SUVs).

    As for his health, and possibly being under the influence of a poison, my guess is that “poison” is vodka. The Russians drink that stuff like water.

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