FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Hit-and-Run Driver Sentenced to up to 15 Years in Prison
For Killing Cyclist in Williamsburg
Swerved Into Designated Bike Lane, Struck Beloved Advocate and Sped Away
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 57-year-old Brooklyn man was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison for recklessly killing 35-year-old Queens cyclist and advocate Matthew von Ohlen, then leaving the scene of the fatal crash.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The reckless and dastardly actions of this defendant took the life of a beloved cyclist and advocate for safe streets. We cannot tolerate this kind of violent behavior by motorists and I am committed to continue doing my part in ensuring the safety of everyone who uses Brooklyn roads – drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike.”
The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Juan Maldonado, 57, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Suzanne Mondo to the maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison following his conviction last month of second-degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting and reckless driving after a jury trial. The judge indicated that she will ask the Department of Motor Vehicles for a lifetime revocation of the defendant’s driving license.
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on July 2, 2016, at approximately 2:37 a.m., the defendant was behind the wheel of a black Chevy Camaro in the vicinity of Grand Street and Manhattan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The defendant swerved into a designated bike lane on Grand Street where the victim was riding his bike, sped through a red light at an intersection and then struck the victim. According to the evidence, the defendant hit the victim’s bicycle from behind causing the victim to fall. The defendant continued driving, running over the victim and dragging him approximately 10 to 20 feet as he sped away. Part of the incident was captured on surveillance video.
The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Douglas Marquez and Stephanie Mishler of the District Attorney’s Grey Zone Trial Bureau, with the assistance of Jennifer Nocella, Deputy Bureau Chief of the District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Unit, and Craig Esswein, Bureau Chief, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Danielle Eaddy, Grey Zone Bureau Chief, and James Lin and Maria Park, Deputy Bureau Chiefs.