NEW YORK A Brooklyn man is under arrest after hitting 3 pedestrians in Boro Park and leaving the scene last Saturday evening.
Victim recounts the horror of the hit and run, thanks g-d for being alive and his frustration with the NYPD in this exclusive interview with GifterInGotham. Watch:
The incident took place on June 21, 2018 at the intersection of 11th Avenue and 56th Street at 6:20 p.m. A 64-year-old man, a 55-year-old man, and a six-year-old boy were crossing at the intersection and talking in the crosswalk when a 2007 Honda Odyssey reversed direction, striking all three before leaving the scene.
Shmira safety patrol was contacted after relatives of the victim reached out to liaisons and organizations and didn’t receive any response. Shmira responded to the accident scene and began looking, finding and reviewing security cameras from nearby homes. The footage was shocking. The captured footage seemed to indicate an intentional act, a potential hate crime.
The footage shows the minivan backing up on 56th Street past a parked school bus and towards the 11th Avenue intersection, waiting for a car to pass before continuing in reverse and heading straight for the three victims who were standing near the sidewalk in front of a parked car.
Reviewing additional surveillance footage, Shmira members were able to follow the van’s progress in locating the vehicle at approximately 2 a.m., parked in front of 1027 58th St.
“We confirmed that we had identified the correct vehicle and then brought our own cars onto the block and waited for hours until the driver showed up which was around 8:00 A.M. We then called the police who came quickly and apprehended him.” Levi Leifer, the coordinator of Shmira, told GifterInGotham.
The driver, 27-year-old Juan Paulino of Sunset Park, was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident, according to the NYPD.
The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force determined that the hit and run were not bias-related. NYPD says the driver tried chasing people who got out of his vehicle after an argument.
Community members are pushing for New York police to recognize a hit-and-run as a hate crime.
Two of the victims were father and son, and one of the victims suffered broken ribs and required many stitches and has months of rehabilitation ahead.
The suspect, Juan Paulino, 27, was arrested after the “Shmira” civilian patrol group tracked down the vehicle, which surveillance cameras showed as deliberately ramming the pedestrians.
Victims of the hit and run are flabbergasted at the way NYPD treated the case and are shocked how NYPD didn’t even bother looking for surveillance cameras.
Paulino is currently being charged with leaving the scene of an accident.
Brooklyn district attorney, Eric Gonzalez reached out to the victims and will be prosecuting the case.