Accidents happen. Recently, a 20-year-old man driving down Ocean Parkway crashed his car into a female pedestrian. Witnesses say he stopped the car, got out and took a look at the 70-year-old victim lying in the street. Then, he took off and left the scene.
“Suddenly,” says one of the 61st Precinct Highway Safety Unit officers, “an accident turns into a crime.”
The courts call it leaving the scene of an accident. The reporters on TV call it a hit-and-run. The cops call it a crime and if it results in personal injury to a human being on foot or on a bike, it’s punishable by jail time in addition to fines and court costs.
The young man depicted in the scenario above was hunted down and arrested by 61st Precinct detectives and highway safety officers.
Why would someone hurt or kill another human being in an accident and then flee? Amber Cafaro, the dynamic officer heading up the Highway Safety Unit at the 61st Precinct answers that such people are “nervous, think this could cause trouble for themselves, or have suspended licenses or no insurance.”
But Cafaro wants future offenders to know that “we will see your plate number even if you think no one was there and no one saw you. Cameras record these events and witnesses speak out and you will get arrested for leaving the scene and go straight to Central Booking, we promise you that.”
According to Cafaro, “Pedestrian injuries from accidents are up 100 percent from this time last year.” This grim statistic includes hit-and-stops, as well as hit-and-runs. And that’s too much.
Cafaro says the most popular days for car crashes in southern Brooklyn’s residential neighborhoods covered by the 61st Precinct
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