The cab driver who struck and killed 9-year-old Cooper Stock as he crossed an Upper West Side street while holding his father's hand in 2014 has been issued a $580 fine by a Manhattan judge. He will not face any jail time for taking the boy's life.
Koffi Komlani, 54, struck Cooper while making a left-hand turn off 97th Street onto West End Avenue in January 2014. He was initially charged with failure to exercise due care and failure to signal. Stock's mother, Dana Lerner, said in May of last year that the Manhattan DA's office had declined to press criminal charges, but in October Komlani was arraigned in criminal court and charged with failure to exercise due care.
That charged carried a maximum penalty of 15 days in jail, a $750 fine, and a license suspension. Yesterday, however, Komlani was fined just $580; the DA's office reportedly told Lerner that they needed two misdemeanors to follow through with criminal charges, and a Manhattan judge ruled that Cooper's death was "not a crime.".
Komlani initially blamed bad weather for the fatal collision. The Taxi & Limousine Commission did not renew his cabbie license this year, and his driver's license has been revoked for six months.
A statement from Lerner and her husband was in court yesterday. It read, in part: "It goes without saying that what happened here today does not even begin to bring justice in the death of my son Cooper Stock. Giving this man a traffic ticket for killing my son is an insult to us and to Cooper’s memory. Is a life worth nothing more than a traffic ticket?”
A spokesperson for the Manhattan DA's office declined to comment.