Loved ones of two men killed last week after a Mastic Beach man allegedly drove into them while they rode his brother’s stolen dirt bike, appeared in court on Wednesday.
Wearing T-shirts with the pictures of the victims that said “rest in peace” along with the date the two died, June 22, the family members huddled in First District Court in Central Islip.
But Christopher Bouchard, the man who authorities said drove a minivan into Keenen King, 19, of Shirley and his passenger, Anthony Holmes-Garriques, 20, of North Bellport, was not in the courtroom. His case was adjourned until July 25.
Bouchard, 27, had earlier pleaded not guilty to a single count of reckless endangerment, a felony, but Assistant District Attorney Raymond Varuolo has said his office would seek higher charges from a grand jury.
Lina Garriques, the mother of one of the men, was among those in the courtroom. “My son wants me to be here. I’m as mad as a bug,” she said outside.
Moments later, she cried “I want justice for my son,” as she made her way through the parking lot.
The day of the crash, police said the driver’s brother, Brian Bouchard, called them at about 7 a.m. to report his dirt bike had been stolen from his home in Mastic Beach. Later in the day, a friend called the Bouchards and said he had spotted the stolen bike in Bellport, officials said.
That’s when the brothers got into the van, drove into Bellport to look for it and spotted the pair on the bike.
Witnesses told Newsday the minivan appeared to head right for the dirt bike, but Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said that was still under investigation.
The crash happened on Montauk Highway in North Bellport.
King died at the scene, police said. Holmes-Garriques died later that day at Stony Brook University Hospital, after he was first taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue.
Officials believed the dirt bike King and Holmes-Garriques were on was Bouchard’s, but it was unclear whether they were the ones who stole it.
“We just want justice for the families,” said Jamie Rosner, the attorney representing both of the victims’ families.