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NYPD Arrests Hit-and-Run Driver Who Killed Woman in Sheepshead Bay

12:01 AM EDT on October 22, 2019

File photo: Dave Colon

Cops on Monday said they arrested the hit-and-run driver who ran over a 66-year-old woman in Sheepshead Bay last week, leaving her for dead.

Police cuffed 70-year-old Roman Slobodkin of Midwood and charged him with leaving the scene of a crash, failure to yield to a pedestrian, and disobeying a traffic device after he fatally ran over Sheryl Augustine on Oct. 16 — charges that come with a maximum of seven years in jail if convicted.

Police say Slobodkin was behind the wheel of a 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis when he plowed into Augustine as he turned right onto Ocean Avenue from Emmons Avenue at 4:57 p.m. on the exceptionally rainy night. Augustine had been crossing Ocean Avenue with the “walk” signal, cops said.

Slobodkin's recklessness helped cops collar him quickly. According to the Brooklyn DA's office, after hitting Augustine, Slobodkin drove through a red light at Ocean Avenue and Shore Parkway — and both incidents had been caught on video by an MTA bus.

Slobodkin faces, at most, seven years in prison for the top charge of fleeing the scene of a fatal crash, yet many hit-and-run drivers are never convicted, even if they are found and charged, Streetsblog has found. Many drivers flee the scene if they are drunk because the penalty for a fatal hit-and-run is far more lenient than for a fatal DWI. Indeed, Slobodkin was not charged with drunk driving — if he had been tanked, there would be no way for cops to know it when they finally caught up to him days later.

But both Gonzalez and Brooklyn Assembly Member Joe Lentol want to hike the penalties for fleeing the scene after seriously injuring or killing someone, to make the charge on par with a fatal DWI — a maximum of 15 years in prison.

The plate associated with Slobodkin's car has racked up 11 parking violations since 2014, but none for previously going through a red light or speeding in a school zone, according to city records.

Augustine was the 89th pedestrian killed this year — a 6 percent increase from 2018, according to the Department of Transportation. Overall, road fatalities are up 13.3 percent. At the current rate, deaths will be well over 200 this year — a mark that the city has only come close to once in the Vision Zero era.

Brooklyn — especially southern Brooklyn — has been a killing field this year, with 36 of the city’s 172 road fatalities, the highest number, occurring in the precincts that comprise Brooklyn South. In all, 55 people have been killed in road violence this year in Brooklyn. Queens is next at 51.

And Emmons Avenue specifically is a dangerous strip along the busy waterfront, where in just 12 months last year, there were 61 reported crashes on just seven blocks of Emmons Avenue, injuring one cyclist, six pedestrians and five motorists. The intersection where the pedestrian was killed last Wednesday has had 75 reported crashes since January, 2014, injuring five cyclists, nine pedestrians and 10 motorists.

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