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Driver Who Killed 8-Year-Old Had Four Prior Arrests for Unlicensed Driving: Cops

It's unclear why Jose Barcia, who cops say killed Bayron Palomino Arroyo, was able to obtain a driver's license after his quartet of arrests.

Photo: NYPD|

NYPD Transportation Bureau Chief Philip Rivera (center) talks to reporters about Wednesday’s crash.

The driver who ran down and killed an 8-year-old boy as he came home from school on Wednesday was driving with a valid license despite having been previously arrested four times for driving without a license, cops said.

It's unclear why Jose Barcia, who cops say killed Bayron Palomino Arroyo on 31st Avenue in East Elmhurst, was able to obtain a driver's license after his quartet of arrests for getting behind the wheel without a license in 2009 and 2010.

And the state Department of Motor Vehicles declined to comment.

Bayron Palomino Arroyo

It's also unclear if anything was done to get Barcia's North Carolina-plated 2005 Nissan Titan pickup off the road after it had racked up eight camera-issued speeding tickets since last June. The truck has more than the threshold of $350 in unpaid, adjudicated tickets that allow the Sheriff's department to tow away the vehicle.

Yet it was not towed.

This much is known: Barcia is now facing four years in prison on a top count of criminally negligent homicide stemming from Wednesday afternoon's crash, where he killed Bayron, and injured his 10-year-old brother, after speeding through the intersection of 31st Avenue and 100th Street, police said.

It is also known that Barcia was arrested four times:

  • On Sept. 21, 2009, he was pulled over by police because of an allegedly excessive tint. Cops ran his license and found out it had been previously suspended. He was arrested. A spokesperson for Queens DA Melinda Katz said "we do not have a record" of that arrest.
  • On Dec. 8, 2009, Barcia was stopped at a routine checkpoint and, again, was found to be driving on a suspended license and was arrested. A spokesperson for Katz said "we do not have a record" of that arrest.
  • On March 10, 2010, cops observed Barcia backing a van unsafely down a street and discovered that he had a suspended license, police said. A spokesperson for Katz said Barcia pleaded guilty to driving without a license and paid a $300 fine.
  • On Sept. 28, 2010, Barcia was pulled over on Northern Boulevard because his 1997 Plymouth Suburban did not have a license plate, police said. Running his record, they discovered he was, again, driving without a driver's license and was arrested. A spokesperson for Katz said Barcia pleaded guilty to driving without a license and was fined $250.

It's unclear why the four arrests and two fines (the last one smaller than the one before it) did not keep Barcia from driving, but Katz suggested that she wants that to change.

"Driving carries with it a huge responsibility," she said in a statement. "This tragedy is as senseless as it is horrific. The rules of the road exist to safeguard everyone. A young life has been cut short and a family is in mourning because of the driver’s disregard for those rules."

At Barcia's arraignment at Queens Criminal Court on Thursday, prosecutors asked for $50,000 in bail. Barcia defense lawyer described his client as “extremely regretful, remorseful,” the Daily News reported.

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