After fatally running over a Brooklyn woman trying to hail a cab late Saturday night, off-duty cop Andrew Kelly successfully dragged his feet on taking a Breathalyzer or blood alcohol test for almost eight hours. And the gambit worked: When a doctor, acting on a warrant, finally drew Kelly's blood at 8 a.m., there was no alcohol in his system. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to charges of DWI and vehicular manslaughter; 32-year-old Vionique Valnord is dead.
A spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes says, "We believe we have enough circumstantial and direct evidence to get a conviction in this case." An officer at the scene reported that Kelly had bloodshot eyes and reeked of booze, and there was alcohol in his SUV at the time of the accident. But Kelly refused to take a Breathalyzer, and at one point allegedly told officers, "I'm not going to let that happen. You're going to have to tie me down."
According to the Post, the NYPD is investigating "whether the first cops at the scene of Sunday's fatal crash involving an allegedly DWI officer plied him with gum and water to help mask booze on his breath." Drinking gum would not have affected the blood test, but water, obviously, would have helped flush out the alcohol. Because of Kelly's score of zero on the test, forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden says, "The defense has a strong case." Naturally, the family of Vionique Valnord is distraught, and her mother says, "The blood of my daughter [is] on him."
Explaining Kelly's refusal to take the Breathalyzer or blood alcohol test, his lawyer tells the Daily News, "The bottom line is everybody has rights. All he wanted was the most accurate form of testing." And sources tell the Post that the other off-duty cop in Kelly's SUV, Michael Dowd, never told any of the investigating officers at the scene he was a cop before leaving. He claims they told him he could leave, but NYPD sources tell the tabloids he didn't admit to being in the vehicle until the next morning. He's currently suspended for 30 days.