Drunk driver who killed cyclist faces 2nd degree manslaughter charges
The Long Island City man who struck and killed a Sunnyside bicyclist while drunk has been arraigned on second-degree manslaughter and other charges, according to the Queens District Attorney office.
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Alex J. Batista, 25, of 53-36 Van Dam Street, in Long Island City, Queens.
Batista was arraigned last Friday night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Michael Yavinsky on a criminal complaint charging him with one count of second-degree manslaughter, one count of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, one count of leaving the scene, one count of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana. The defendant is charged in a separate criminal complaint with one count of disorderly conduct.
Batista, who faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, was ordered held on $300,000 bail and to return to court on August 9, 2012.
District Attorney Brown said, “This defendant’s decision to get behind the wheel of a car while allegedly intoxicated is incomprehensible and cost an innocent young man his life. Drinking and driving is never a good idea – and all too often has deadly consequences. ”
District Attorney Brown said that, according to the charges, the defendant was driving a 2006 Black Infinity M35 four-door sedan eastbound on Greenpoint Avenue at approximately 10:51 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18, 2012, at a high rate of speed when he struck the rear of a bicycle being ridden by the deceased victim, Roger G. Hernandez, 37, eastbound on Greenpoint Avenue between 39th Place and 39th Street, with the flow of traffic, causing Mr. Hernandez to be mounted on the hood of the defendant’s vehicle, to strike the windshield and then to be thrown off the vehicle and onto the roadway near 39th Place. Mr. Hernandez was pronounced dead at approximately 10:57 p.m., at the scene as a result of massive head and body trauma.
The District Attorney further said that, the defendant allegedly fled the scene in his vehicle, which was subsequently observed to be crashed into a building at 58-16 Laurel Hill Boulevard, approximately 10 blocks from the scene of the collision with Mr. Hernandez. The defendant was allegedly laying on the sidewalk a few car lengths from his vehicle in what appeared to be intoxicated condition with bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech, an odor of alcohol, and acting in an extremely belligerent manner. Police allegedly recovered two bags of marihuana from the defendant. In a second criminal complaint the defendant is charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly being highly uncooperative with police at the scene and approaching a police officer in a threatening manner after being told to stay back.