NEW YORK CITY, NY– A NYPD highway patrol officer was killed after being hit by an alleged drunk driver who had a suspended license.
On Tuesday, April 27, Highway Unit Officer, now identified as 43-year-old Anastasios Tsakos, was directing traffic at the scene of a deadly crash on the Long Island Expressway in Clearview around 2 a.m.
NBC News reported that in that crash, the driver lost control of a vehicle and slammed into a concrete wall while trying to take an exit.
The vehicle burst into flames, with a driver and two passengers pulled from the fire and rushed to the hospital. Another passenger died at the scene, and the driver of the car was later charged.
According to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, Officer Tsakos was redirecting traffic at the crash site when a 2013 Volkswagen Passat, driven by 32-year-old Jessica Beauvais of Hempstead, hit him and sped off.
Commissioner Shea was asked if it was possible that Beauvais was unaware that she hit the officer, to which Shea responded that “there’s no way to not know that you struck an individual” based off of the damage that was sustained to the vehicle.
— Clear My NAME #RefuseHATE (@RBarbarian2) April 28, 2021
According to the charges, Tsakos was thrown in the air and landed on a nearby patch of grass. He later died of his injuries at a hospital.
It is reported that Beauvais faces a slew of charges including manslaughter, aggravated manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of a deadly accident, DWI and other offenses.
According to a law enforcement official, Beauvais allegedly had a blood-alcohol level of .15, which is nearly twice the legal limit.
NBC News reported that at the time of the crash, Beauvais’ driver license was apparently suspended for failure to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment in relation to a speeding conviction.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said Beauvais did not stop or slow down after striking the officer with her car. Instead, she traveled several more exits before getting onto the Horace Harding Expressway, where she jumped a curb and mounted a sidewalk in her car.
The charges show that police officers surrounded Beauvais, and she tried to flee by putting her car in reverse and ramming into a police vehicle twice before coming to a stop. She was taken into custody immediately after.
According to two senior law enforcement officials, Beauvais was combative during her arrest.
Beauvais also admitted to drinking vodka and smoking marijuana prior to the collision, while she was working in a studio all night recording her podcast. Fox5 news reported that video of that podcast was posted on Facebook, and showed her using multiple expletives to describe law enforcement.
NY Radio Host Tells Audience ‘F*** The Police,’ Then Allegedly Rams NYPD Officer, Killing Him, Before Speeding Away
— Rev. Dr. Robert (@rdeane13) April 28, 2021
As Beauvais was lead out of the 107 police precinct in handcuffs, she tearfully apologized to Officer Tsakos’ family.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I hit him and that he is dead,”
According to reports, she was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Tuesday evening, and faces up to 15 years in prison. It is not immediately known if she had retained an attorney. Beauvais is apparently a single mother who is the primary caregiver for her child.
Mayor Bill de Blasio commended on the death of the 14 year police veteran, saying:
“He’s dead before he was at an accident where people had driven recklessly also with a suspended license,”
de Blasio went on to say:
“He’s dead because of other people’s negligence.”
During Tuesday’s daily coronavirus press briefing, the Mayor once again commented on the tragedy, saying:
“My heart is heavy,”
“We lost a very good young man — a 14-year veteran of the NYPD, someone who went out there every day and serve us.”
Tsakos is survived by his wife, Irene, and their 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son, de Blasio said, adding that Tsakos was “the epitome of a family man.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea called Tsakos’ death a:
“profound tragedy. The face that life was taken by a driver whose license had been suspended, and who was intoxicated, is nothing short of criminal and should be treated that way.”
As a caravan of police officers escorted Tsakos’ body to the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office.
Police Commissioner Shea said today that funeral services for the officer are being scheduled for “early next week,”
In March, Law Enforcement Today reported on a LAPD officer who died after being struck by a vehicle while on duty. Here is more on that story.
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LOS ANGELES, CA – An LAPD officer that was struck by a driver while working the scene of a crash on February 26th in South Los Angeles reportedly succumbed to his injuries on March 3rd.
LAPD Officer Jose Luis Anzora
Serial Number 40848
End Of Watch 03/03/2021
Rest In Peace pic.twitter.com/ILlMOqMVVE
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) March 4, 2021
The LAPD recently announced the passing of Officer Jose Anzora, who died six days after being struck by a driver on February 26th while he was on-duty.
Officer Anzora was reportedly conducting traffic control at the scene of a collision at approximately 7:30 p.m. near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Woodlawn Avenue when he was struck by a driver.
Following the incident, Officer Anzora was reportedly rushed to a nearby hospital – where at first, reports came in suggesting the officer was in stable condition.
However, further updates revealed that Officer Anzora’s condition was then critical.
A statement released by the LAPD on March 3rd shared the unfortunate news that Officer Anzora had passed away:
“Our hearts are heavy once again as we mourn the loss of Police Officer II Jose Anzora, Serial No. 40848, who passed away earlier today following a heroic battle for his life after being injured while on-duty.
“Our deepest condolences go out to Officer Anzora’s wife, family, colleagues, and friends in this most difficult time.
“His passing is a loss for not only his brothers and sisters in the LAPD, but for the people of Los Angeles for whom he gave his life.”
LAPD Statement on the passing of Officer Jose Anzora, who died today from injuries sustained while on duty.
Officer Anzora, may you Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/QQifUWV5Gt
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) March 4, 2021
Officer Anzora had been with the LAPD since 2011, spending a majority of his time with the force within the LAPD’s Newton Division.
LAPD Chief Michael Moore referred to Officer Anzora as a “guardian & protector” when taking to Twitter to share news of the saddening loss:
“Today we lost a guardian & protector. LAPD Officer Jose Anzora served for nearly a decade. He tragically lost his life in the selfless service in the communities in South LA. Our gratitude to the medical professionals who fought so hard to save his life. May God welcome him home.”
Today we lost a guardian & protector. LAPD Officer Jose Anzora served for nearly a decade. He tragically lost his life in the selfless service in the communities in South LA. Our gratitude to the medical professionals who fought so hard to save his life. May God welcome him home pic.twitter.com/177494e653
— Chief Michel Moore (@LAPDChiefMoore) March 4, 2021
Eileen Decker, president of the Board of Police Commissioners, also shared the following statement regarding the death of Officer Anzora:
“On behalf of the Board of Police Commissioners, I want to express our condolences to the family, fellow officers and civilians with whom Officer Anzora served and the entire LAPD family.
“This is such a tragedy and words cannot express the loss to all. We thank him for his service to our City of Angels and may he rest in peace.”
A procession was reportedly held for the fallen officer following the announcement of his passing, with LAPD officers and members from other law enforcement agencies accompanying Officer Anzora’s body as he was moved from the L.A. County + USC Medical Center to the county’s coroner’s office.
The night sky was lit up to honor our fallen hero, Officer Jose Anzora.
To all the agencies that stood in formation, we say thank you.
To all the media that showed respect to our fallen officer, we say thank you.
To all Angelenos that sent their condolences, we say thank you. pic.twitter.com/OuUrc6ojsY
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) March 4, 2021
As for the driver who reportedly struck Officer Anzora on February 26th, police officials say that the driver is cooperating with authorities on the investigation.
It’s unclear as of this writing whether any charges are being considered for the driver involved in the incident, and officials have not released the name of the driver as of this time.
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