An off-duty NYPD officer was charged with drunk driving and criminally negligent homicide this weekend after allegedly crashing his new muscle car into another vehicle in Brooklyn, killing a 23-year-old passenger on the way home from celebrating her birthday.
[UPDATE: Prosecution of the officer has been deferred; see below for latest]
The crash occurred at around 5 a.m. in East Flatbush on Sunday, police said. Officer Rohan Shaw, 47, was driving his 2019 Nissan GT-R on Foster Avenue when he allegedly T-boned a Mazda at 55th Street, sending the vehicle careening into a utility pole.
Police say the driver of the Mazda fled the scene. Passenger Joanna Dixon was found unresponsive and transported to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Her 22-year-old friend was hospitalized in serious condition, police said.
Relatives said Dixon was coming home from celebrating her birthday with her best friend. “When I got the news this morning...my chest just started beating real fast to hear that my cousin, who I just literately saw a few minutes, few hours before, is now deceased,” the victim's cousin, Collado Gray, told CBS2.
The driver of the Mazda has not yet been located. Shaw, who was not seriously injured, remained at the scene. He was charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless driving, speeding and driving while drunk.
A member of the NYPD since 1997, Shaw works with the NYPD's counter-terrorism bureau, and was previously stationed at the NYPD's 107th precinct in Queens.
He's the second off-duty NYPD officer arrested for drunk driving in the span of 48 hours. On Friday, 27-year-old cop Ryan O'Donnell was charged with driving while impaired and refusing to take a breathalyzer, after slamming into two parked cars in Brooklyn, police said.
UPDATE: The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office is declining to prosecute Shah, citing a lack of available evidence to bring charges against the allegedly drunk driver.
"The Brooklyn DA has deferred prosecution pending further investigation," said Oren Yaniv, a spokesperson for the district attorney's office.
Shah was scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Monday, but was sent home.
It's unclear what prompted the reversal. Suspected drunk drivers are typically given blood tests, though they may refuse to take a breathalyzer. The Brooklyn DA would not say whether Shah received either test following the crash, pointing to the ongoing investigation.
A law enforcement source told Gothamist that he's "not off the hook, and likely to face charges in the future."