Chased, caught, busted

Chased, caught, busted
Photo by Paul Martinka

A Bay 20th Street man suspected of killing one man and wounding seven others in a horrific Staten Island car crash was arrested Tuesday after a daring foot chase through Bensonhurst.

Utilizing an NYPD helicopter, a K-9 unit, and an army of cops, police converged on suspected speed-racer Brian Pittsley’s home between Benson Avenue and 86th Street just before noon, sparking a two-block foot chase to 84th Street near 18th Avenue.

Police sources said that Pittsley ran into his backyard when cops showed up at his front door. As cops pursued, Pittsley began vaulting over backyard fences in a harried bid to escape.

But cops quickly outpaced Pittsley — ultimately grabbing him behind a home two blocks away on 84th Street. He was still in custody at the 62nd Precinct stationhouse, being questioned by investigators, by 3 pm Tuesday, police sources said.

Pittsley, a Bensonhurst mechanic and a father of a newborn, has been accused of sparking a massive multiple car collision at Hylan Boulevard and Hillside Terrace on Staten Island on Monday night that led to the death of 18-year-old Angel Rivera and seven serious injuries. Nearly all of the injured were from Pittsley’s own SUV, police said, adding that one of the injured, a 17-year-old girl, had to have part of her right arm amputated following the bloody 9:47 pm crack-up.

Police say Pittsley was taking seven friends through Staten Island when he blew a stop sign as his SUV came careening down Hillside Terrace. His misstep proved fatal: a Nissan Sentra careened into the back of Pittsley’s SUV, sending it flipping onto a parked Chevrolet Blazer, according to cops.

Pittsley managed to crawl out of his crumpled vehicle unscathed and flee the Island as paramedics tended to his wounded friends.

Tuesday’s arrest wasn’t the 25-year-old’s first run in with the law.

According to the New York Post, Pittsley has been arrested five times since 2003 on a smattering of charges including assault, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and grand larceny.

Neighbors said they weren’t surprised that Pittsley had been arrested. Many believed he was squatting at the Bay 20th Street home cops found him in. He had also allegedly started a fist fight during this year’s block party when neighbors asked him to turn his music down, they said.

Yet others described Pittsley as a quiet, friendly fellow.

“He was always OK to me,” said one neighbor, who didn’t want to divulge his name. “He always drove slow when he went down the block. When I heard the police helicopters this morning, I never thought they were coming for him.”

Cops caught up with 25-year-old Brian Pittsley at his Bensonhurst home, but the fiend tried to escape barefoot, leap-frogging through several backyards barefoot before he was finally caught.

Photo by Paul Martinka