From the New York Daily News on a case that’s nearly identical to one that we are currently handling with Fred Lichtmacher, Esq (full article at https://patch.com/new-york/astoria-long-island-city/long-island-city-cops-put-desk-duty-after-deadly-atv-crash-nyp ):
LONG ISLAND CITY, QUEENS — Two police officers were put on desk duty amid reports that they were involved in a crash that killed two men riding an ATV in Long Island City last week, according to the NYPD and news reports.
Officers Niketas Janios and Marya Cardona Quintero are both on modified duty, an NYPD spokesperson confirmed — meaning they have been stripped of their guns pending an investigation into the Aug. 19 crash.
Both were assigned to the 108th Precinct in Long Island City, according to the Daily News.
Police initially said that the two men were riding a Yamaha ATV westbound along the Queensboro Bridge Lower Roadway, toward the bridge’s Manhattan-bound entrance, when it collided at around 1:30 a.m. with a tractor-trailer that was heading eastbound on the bridge toward Queens Plaza.
Both men were ejected from the ATV and fell to the roadway, and the man driving the ATV was then run over by the truck, police said.
The driver, 22-year-old Angel Lopez of the Bronx, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. His passenger, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.
Days later, reports emerged that officers may have been chasing the ATV when it crashed — the Daily News quoted a friend who was riding an ATV alongside the pair, who said they had been pursued by an unmarked police car, followed by a marked vehicle.
In 2018, officers from the same precinct chased motorcyclist Steven Goddard and his Amy Gutierrez girlfriend in Sunnyside, culminating in a crash that killed them both, as the Daily News reported.
Both officers involved in that incident ultimately took plea deals to avoid being tried on charges of continuing the chase and not informing their supervisors.
Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association union that represents officers, condemned the department’s decision to put the two officers on desk duty.
“These police officers and cops across the city have been told to prioritize getting illegal bikes and ATVs off the streets, because the community is sick of them,” Lynch said in a statement. “They should not be punished for doing the job they were sent out to do.”
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