New York City Cops on Leave after Dirt Bike Fatality

10/02/2012 // New York City, New York, USA // New York City Accident Lawyer // Jonathan C Reiter // (press release)

Two New York City police officers whose vehicle allegedly struck a dirt bike and killed the driver Saturday, August 11, 2012, were taken off patrol duty while Internal Affairs investigates the accident, explains New York City motorcycle accident lawyer Jonathan C Reiter. Police Commissioner Ray Kelley told the press, “The officers are not on patrol…I wouldn’t say it’s administrative leave, but they’re not on patrol.”

Eddie Fernandez, 28, was thrown from his bike in Hunts Point, Bronx, when a police car allegedly rear-ended it during a pursuit that ended at Randall Avenue and Coster Street. The man died of blunt impact to the head and neck, which resulted in a finding of death by homicide by the Medical Examiner.

Fernandez was carrying a passenger, 26-year-old Adalberto Gonzalez. Gonzalez had originally prompted the chase by driving recklessly on another bike then jumping onto the back of Fernandez’ unregistered vehicle, police reported. Gonzalez suffered minor injuries and was arrested at the scene and charged with reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and reckless driving.

There are discrepancies between witness accounts and officer accounts. It was reported a police car from the 49th precinct struck the dirt bike from behind during the pursuit. According to a video from the scene, a bystander at the scene of the motorcycle accident can be seen shouting at an officer hunched over Fernandez after the crash. The bystander yells, “We saw you, pal, you hit him with the car.”

The officer replies, pointing to a metal crosswalk-light pole that the dirt bike was facing and said, “He hit this. He hit the pole. Look at his bike.”

The investigation is ongoing.

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