Hit-and-run driver faces seven years for fatally striking man in G’wood Heights while allegedly drunk

A hit-and-run driver who killed a man after allegedly knocking back some beers and crushing him with his car in Greenwood Heights faces up to seven years behind bars, according to charges the district attorney filed on Monday.

Prosecutors slapped the defendant with offenses including reckless manslaughter, driving under the influence, and leaving the scene of an incident at his arraignment, according to a district attorney’s office spokeswoman, who said a judge set his bail at $10,000.

Police arrested the suspect on charges that included leaving an accident resulting in death early on Sunday morning, the day after he slammed into Staten Island resident Jose Cardoso, 32, when he jumped the curb and pinned the victim to the wall of a building on 21st Street between Third and Fourth avenues while trying to park his 2004 GMC van around 8:30 pm, court documents show.

The 35-year-old driver then fled his vehicle on foot, before hightailing it back to his home in the Bronx, according to the documents, which show the defendant told detectives he drank four or five Coronas before getting behind the wheel.

Paramedics rushed Cardoso to Methodist Hospital after receiving a 911 call about the incident, and doctors pronounced him dead, cops said.

The suspect’s timely arrest and indictment starkly contrasts with the still-ongoing investigation cops and prosecutors said they are conducting into the June 24 death of 4-year-old Luz Gonzalez, who another driver fatally ran over on a Bushwick sidewalk before fleeing the scene.

Officers stopped the woman behind the wheel that same day, roughly a block away from the fatal crash, but have yet to arrest her.

A Police Department spokesman said authorities slapped the man with a preliminary charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident because he fled the scene.

“He was charged because he fled the scene,” said Det. Reyes.

But when asked to explain why cops did not issue the same preliminary charge to the driver who killed Gonzalez when they stopped her fleeing the scene of the incident, Reyes said he could not answer because he is not involved in the case, suggesting this newspaper send the question via e-mail instead.

“I don’t have the intimate details,” he said.

When asked via e-mail why cops did not issue the Bushwick driver a preliminary charge of fleeing a fatal accident when they stopped her after the crash, a separate spokesperson cited the ongoing investigation.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.