This past weekend, an off-duty New York Police Department officer plowed his SUV into four pedestrians, killing one and leaving the other three in critical condition. It was later determined that the NYPD officer was driving under the influence.
Officer Nicholas Batka, 28, of the Manhattan Transit Task Force was out drinking with Officers Jeremy Rodriguez and Emmanuel Collado this past weekend. Shortly after 3 a.m. on Saturday morning, Batka lost control of his vehicle which jumped a curb and collided with two women and two men who were walking along the sidewalk in Williamsburg, a suburb of Brooklyn.
Andrew Esquivel, 21, from Healdsburg, California, died a short time later from his injuries. Esquivel was one year away from graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Recent MIT alumnus James Balchunas, MIT student Sophia Tabhouri, and an NYU student were taken to hospitals.
Witnesses to the accident said that Batka flashed his badge and tried to flee the scene through the passenger-side door. Bystanders, however, blocked the door from opening.
Batka was allegedly supposed to report to work at 7 a.m., only about four hours after the incident.
Responding officers noticed the objective signs of intoxication. According to police, Batka refused a breathalyzer.
Batka faces charges of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, second-degree assault, second-degree vehicular assault and multiple counts of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He has been released on $300,000 bail.
Batka’s drinking buddies, Officer Rodriguez and Officer Collado have had their badges and guns taken away “for the good of the department,” according to a police source.
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