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NYPD: Cop faces manslaughter, DWI charges in Brooklyn crash

NYPD officer Nicholas Batka, gets into a police

NYPD officer Nicholas Batka, gets into a police car early Saturday morning after authorities said he drove his SUV onto a Brooklyn sidewalk, killing one pedestrian and severely injuring three others. Credit: ABC7

An off-duty NYPD officer facing criminally negligent homicide, driving under the influence and other charges was free on bond Sunday after authorities said his sport utility vehicle struck four pedestrians on a Brooklyn sidewalk, killing one and severely injuring three others.

Nicholas Batka, 28, of Brooklyn, posted $300,000 bond at his arraignment Saturday night, officials said.

The pedestrian who was killed was identified in court records as Andrew Esquivel, 21. The records said he was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital Center at 6:40 a.m. Saturday.

The records depicted a chaotic scene at the site early Saturday after the SUV hit the pedestrians in front of a building at 161 Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg. A witness told investigators that after striking the pedestrians, the driver, later identified as Batka, attempted to escape his SUV through the passenger side but was prevented from doing so by bystanders, according to court records.

Batka, a transit officer who joined the NYPD last year, was driving west on Bedford Avenue in a 2012 Dodge Durango registered to him about 3 a.m. Saturday when he drove onto the sidewalk, striking the four people, police said.

He was taken to NewYork Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries, records said.

Two of the injured pedestrians, females ages 20 and 23, were taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, officials said. The 20-year-old victim sustained severe leg injuries and was listed in stable condition, while the 23-year-old victim sustained a fractured pelvis and severe injuries to both legs and her right arm and was listed in critical condition, officials said.

A third injured pedestrian, a 24-year-old male, sustained a severe injury to his right leg and was undergoing treatment at NewYork Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, officials said.

The residences of the victims were not available Sunday.

An NYPD officer who arrived at the scene said the SUV was on the sidewalk and had crashed through a wrought-iron fence in front of a building, according to the records. The officer observed “the defendant to have bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and the odor of alcohol on the defendant’s breath,” the records said.

Batka also 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.

Police said Batka refused a breathalyzer test. Batka, who police said has been suspended, was not immediately available for comment.

With Alison Fox and Nicole Fuller


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