Manhattan, NY - Rabbi Confronts NYPD Commish Over Williamsburg Hit-and-Run
Manhattan, NY - The annual pre-Passover briefing between the NYPD and the Jewish community turned ugly today when a rabbi confronted Police Commissioner Ray Kelly over Sunday’s hit-and-run that killed a young Hasidic couple and their son.
DNAinfo.com (http://bit.ly/XTzpUM) is reporting that Rabbi David Niederman, head of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, demanded an explanation from the city’s top law enforcement official as to why Julio Acevedo wasn’t stripped of his driver’s license following his DUI arrest last month.
“He was caught before in drunken driving and now, unfortunately, he has killed,” Niederman told Kelly. “How can we strengthen that the justice system working with the police department that this guy should never had the ability to drive a car in public and kill such [a] wonderful family?”
After the press conference, Niederman asked, “How is it possible a person like this walks the streets?”
Despite the fact the NYPD makes drunk driving arrests, it does not decide who qualifies for bail, or whether a person’s driver’s license is suspended or revoked.
Acevedo was arrested and charged with DUI—-with a blood alcohol level of .13, more than the legal limit of .08—-after a road rage incident involving a cab driver at 3:15 a.m. on Feb. 17, a source said.
“He was released, which is not that unusual, pretty much standard in cases like that,” said Kelly at a press conference after the Passover briefing. “So that is pretty much standard practice. I don’t see anything unusual.”
Kelly also said police continue to turn up the heat in their search for Acevedo, who has been promising through conversations with media outlets, family, and friends that he would turn himself in since Sunday.
Kelly added that officials have been in contact with Acevedo’s friend, Derrick Hamilton, who told police Acevedo intends to turn himself in Wednesday.
“[Hamilton] said [Acevedo] wants to turn himself in and that he was going to do it he believed today, with an attorney,” said Kelly. “No location was given and no time was given.”
Kelly noted that the NYPD is not taking Acevedo at his word that he plans to turn himself in, adding that they have spoken to an Acevedo friend, but not with Acevedo himself, nor any attorney claiming to represent him directly.
“We don’t know if this is a game or what,” Kelly said. “We are actively looking for him. We are not waiting for him to turn himself in.”
Kelly also slammed Acevedo’s claim he was fleeing from gunfire at the time of the crash.
“There are no reports of gunshots in the area at that time,” Kelly said. “There were reports in Brooklyn North, which is the borough command for us far away from that location and not anywhere near the time of the accident.”
Kelly’s comments came just as Bronx prosecutors said they have no plans to pursue charges against the woman who owned the vehicle Acevedo was driving at the time of the crash.
Takia Walker, 29, of The Bronx, was arrested after the incident and charged with insurance fraud, The Bronx DA’s office confirmed Wednesday.
Kelly said today’s announcement does not mean the initial charges against her have been dropped, and added that she could still face possible prosecution.
“As more information comes forward, perhaps that case resurfaces,” Kelly concluded.
More of today's headlines“Bethlehem, PA - A man suspected of fleeing the scene of a grisly crash in New York City that killed a pregnant woman and her husband was arrested at a convenience store...” Bethlehem, PA - Arrest In Brooklyn Crash That Killed Expectant Parents (video of surrender) “Washington - Rep. Peter King of New York is lacing up his boxing gloves for a fight that has nothing to do with budget cuts. The 68-year-old Republican is known more...” Washington - NY Congressman Peter King To Step Into Boxing Ring