The Deer Park truck driver who struck and killed a boy riding his bicycle in Brooklyn on Friday had three prior arrests for driving without a license, the NYPD said.
Philip Monfoletto, 28, was driving his 2000 oil truck north on Lewis Avenue and turning right onto Jefferson Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant when he collided with the boy at 5:48 p.m. The cyclist was also traveling on Lewis Avenue, police said.
Kevin Flores, 13, of Ridgewood suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, police said.
Monfoletto was taken into custody and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. Police noted that a special driver’s license is required to drive a truck.
The truck belongs to M & M Oil Corp. of Deer Park, police said. Monfoletto is listed as a principal for the small company in a Dun & Bradstreet listing. The company’s address matches that of Monfoletto, and the company has one truck with two drivers, according to Department of Transportation records. Company officials did not return calls seeking comment on Saturday.
The Flores family is both devastated and outraged by what happened, said the boy’s grandfather, Octavio Castillo.
“He’s a nice boy, a nice student,” the grandfather said. “This is crazy.”
He said he was especially close with his grandson. The boy, his younger brother and mother had moved in with Castillo after the mother separated from Kevin’s father. Kevin often told his grandfather that, just like him, he wanted to grow up and make pizzas for a living.
Castillo enjoyed occasionally bringing the boy to work with him.
The grandfather recalled that some days he would come home tired after work.
“He would say to me, ‘Did you get something to eat? I’ll make something for you.”
He said the boy was on his way to pick up his little brother when the collision occurred. The crash remains under investigation and further charges are possible, police said.
The boy’s mother is torn up emotionally, he said.
“She almost died herself,” he said. “She’s crying.”
When Castillo heard that the truck driver had several prior arrests for driving without a license, he responded, “Why is he out on the streets?”
Monfoletto was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle Dec. 20 of last year, according to online court records.
He faced the same charge in July of last year in Queens, police said.
Beyond that, he was charged with unlicensed operation of a vehicle in Brooklyn in July 2014, police said.