QUEENS, N.Y. — A 32-year-old woman faces more than a dozen charges after she struck and killed an NYPD officer with a car early Tuesday morning in Queens, according to the city police department.
Police said Jessica Beauvais of Hempstead, Long Island, was intoxicated at the time of the crash. She faces charges that include DWI, two counts of vehicular manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and driving without a license.
At a preliminary hearing Tuesday, a judge denied Beauvais bail. Her lawyer had requested she be released on $50,000 bail.
Her next court appearance will be Friday, when the district attorney presents their case to a grand jury.
As she was walked out of the 107th Precinct in handcuffs in the afternoon, on her way to be arraigned in criminal court, Beauvais apologized while in tears. She said she was coming from a studio where she hosts a podcast.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I am sorry that I hit him and that he’s dead.”
According to the district attorney, Beauvais told a police officer she had two shots of liquor and two glasses of wine. She also said she had smoked marijuana before recording the podcast.
Through tears 32 year old Jessica Beauvais apologizes and says she didn’t mean to. She now faces several charges, including two counts of vehicular manslaughter after she allegedly struck and killed NYPD Officer Anastasios Tsakos. @NY1 pic.twitter.com/HpHbawXh0o— Alyssa Paolicelli (@APaolicelli17) April 27, 2021
According to police, Beauvais's license was suspended back in August 2019 because of failure to pay a DMV fee for repeated traffic violations. In the past decade, she's received at least five summonses for speeding, using a cellphone while driving, or driving an unregistered car, authorities said.
The police department, meanwhile, is remembering the life of the officer killed, 43-year-old Anastasios Tsakos, a 14-year veteran of the NYPD.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea called the incident "a senseless and completely avoidable chain of events" at a press briefing Tuesday morning.
Confirmed per NYPD, 43-year-old Officer Anastasios Tsakos was killed while diverting traffic after another fatal accident on the LIE. The woman who hit him police say was driving under the influence with a suspended license, she has been arrested. Full story on @NY1 pic.twitter.com/ibcWkERnCS— Lindsay Tuchman (@LindsayTuchman) April 27, 2021
Tsakos was a 14-year veteran of the NYPD and leaves behind a wife, 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.
“We are devastated and trying to pick up the pieces of a shattered home and NYPD family,” Shea said.
The NYPD said the first crash occurred around 12:30 a.m. near the Francis Lewis Boulevard exit of the Long Island Expressway in Fresh Meadows. A car traveling eastbound on the LIE entrance to the Clearview Expressway crashed into a pole and caught fire, according to authorities.
Earlier, we updated NYers on last night’s tragic events. pic.twitter.com/IFsPguIs1c— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) April 27, 2021
A rear passenger died and two others were taken to the hospital in critical condition, officials said. The driver of the original crash that Tsakos had been responding to was driving with a suspended license, according to police.
"We see here a horrendous pattern of people doing the wrong thing," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the press conference. "He is dead because of other people’s negligence."
Shea said Tsakos had been diverting westbound traffic at Exit 26 around 2 a.m. when Beauvais, who was driving eastbound in a 2013 Volkswagen, swerved, avoiding other cars, and hit Tsakos head-on as he stood next to his NYPD highway vehicle.
Police caught up with Beauvais a few blocks away after she fled the scene and took her into custody, the NYPD said.
Tsakos was taken to New York Presbyterian-Queens Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
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