FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 2, 2018
Defendant Who Allegedly Drove Drunk and Killed Pedestrian in Bushwick Arraigned on Indictment Charging Him with Depraved Indifference Murder
Driver Slammed into Crowd on Sidewalk, Drove Away with Person on Car Hood, Then Struck a Taxi, Before Finally Being Stopped by Police. Nine People Injured, Including Woman who Died
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 23-year-old man has been arraigned on a 42-count indictment in which he is charged with murder, assault, aggravated vehicular homicide and other charges for allegedly injuring nine people after driving on the sidewalk and slamming into a crowd of people, then crashing into a taxi while fleeing the scene before being captured by police. One woman died of her injuries days later.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly barreled down the sidewalk and mowed down a group of pedestrians. His terrible decision to allegedly drive drunk had horrific consequences for several innocent bystanders, including a young woman who died and her heartbroken family. We will now seek justice for all affected by this defendant’s depraved behavior.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Naquan Ricks, 23, of Brooklyn. He was arraigned yesterday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault, aggravated vehicular homicide, second-degree manslaughter and related charges. He remains out on $10,000 bail, which was set at his Criminal Court arraignment. Justice Del Giudice increased his bail to $50,000 bond or $20,000 cash and ordered him to post it by April 12, 2018, his next court date. The defendant faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on September 4, 2017, at approximately 5 a.m., at Halsey and Wilson Street, the defendant was behind the wheel of his black 2007 Infinity when he allegedly drove onto the sidewalk and struck a large group of people in front of 1185 Halsey Street, causing some people to go under his car and some to land on the hood of his car. The vehicle stopped when it rammed a fence, causing a wheel to fall off. It is alleged that the defendant backed up and then drove forward again and drove onto the street with a person still on the hood. The person fell off the hood as the defendant allegedly drove toward Central Avenue, fleeing on three wheels.
Furthermore, it is alleged, the defendant continued driving down Halsey Street and then T-boned a taxi at the intersection of Halsey Street and Bushwick Avenue. The defendant didn’t stop, and continued to drive down Bushwick Avenue towards Decatur Street, then struck a fence in the vicinity of Decatur Street and Schaefer Street. He was finally stopped when he was surrounded by police on Schaefer Street.
The defendant was taken to Woodhull Hospital and it is alleged his blood alcohol level was 0.17 at the time of the first collision, more than twice the legal limit. Approximately nine people were taken to various hospitals for injuries including a fractured arm and foot; broken ankle; pain to various parts of body; one person required a metal plate and eight screws in his ankle. One of the victims allegedly struck by the defendant, Lindsey Powell, died five days later from complications from her injuries.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Douglas Marquez and Assistant District Attorney Michelle Murray, the District Attorney’s Grey Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney James Lin, Deputy Bureau Chief, and Assistant District Attorney Danielle Eaddy, Bureau Chief, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Craig Esswein, Chief of the District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Joseph Alexis, Chief of the Trial Division. Assistant District Attorney Jacob Uriel, also of the Grey Zone, assisted in the investigation.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.