Teen driver who killed cyclist in Midwood released without charges: NYPD

Deadly scene: Police released the 18-year-old driver who smashed his white Dodge Charger into another car, which then fatally struck 52-year-old cyclist Jose Alzorriz at the intersection of Coney Island Avenue and Avenue L in Midwood on Aug. 11.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Police released the teen driver who they claim killed a cyclist in Midwood on Sunday without charging him, according to authorities.

Officers from the 66th Precinct took the 18-year-old man into custody on Aug. 11 after investigators determined he sped through a red light and T-boned another car at the intersection of Coney Island Avenue and Avenue L at 12:30 p.m., causing the other vehicle to slam into 52-year-old Park Slope cyclist Jose Alzorriz, killing him, cops said.

Video footage posted online clearly shows the operator of a white Dodge Charger blowing past the red light and plowing into a blue Honda SUV at speeds that appear in excess of the blanket 25 miles per hour speed limit Mayor Bill de Blasio set for most city roadways in 2014.

Police have not issued any summonses related to the collision, according to NYPD spokeswoman Det. Denise Moroney, who would not say when the driver was released, or comment on the status of the investigation, except to say it remains ongoing.

The license plate number on the teen’s Dodge Charger is associated with two prior speeding tickets, in addition to four violations for driving with missing plates, and several parking tickets, all of which were issued in 2019, according to Twitter bot How’s My Driving.

Detectives have contacted District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s office and briefed his staff on the investigation, according to a police spokesman, who would not comment on the record regarding the potential for future charges.

If prosecutors were to seek a felony indictment against the teen driver, they would likely pursue either criminally negligent homicide, or the stiffer charge of second-degree manslaughter, according to a law enforcement source.

Gonzalez charged Dorothy Bruns — the Staten Island motorist who struck and killed two children after running a red light in Park Slope last year — with second-degree manslaughter after investigators discovered that a doctor had warned her not to drive for health reasons. Bruns’ case was set to go to trial this year, but the she ultimately chose to end her own life in November, when she was found dead beside a bottle of pills and a suicide note.

Police did not immediately charge Bruns following the March 2018 collision, and it wasn’t until May 2018 that she was arrested following a lengthy investigation.

On Monday night, Mayor Bill de Blasio — who said he saw a video of the incident and called it “horrible” — demanded the driver be charged, saying that the reckless behavior demonstrated in the footage warranted immediate action.

“He just blows right through a red light and you know, kills someone. Of course, there should be numerous charges right now,” de Blasio told Errol Louis on Inside City Hall. “I’m not a lawyer but I’d say it should be a serious, serious charge with many years in prison.”

Hizzoner went on to request state legislators harden the penalties for motorists who kill people from behind the wheel of a car.

“I think it is time to reassess our whole relationship with the automobile and say if you kill someone and you did something wrong as part of that, there should be a very, very serious penalty,” he said.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.

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