The man who crashed his Nissan Altima into an East Village bodega last month, injuring six—including one critically—this afternoon pleaded not guilty to the stack of charges against him.
32-year-old Shaun Martin is accused of cutting across three lanes of traffic, jumped the curb and sailing into the Second Avenue bodega around 6:50 a.m. on June 19, apparently high on PCP and meth. Martin, who seemed oblivious to the fact that he was driving at the time, asked authorities shortly after the incident whether he hurt anyone and whether he was dead. "If I killed anyone, please just kill me now," he reportedly said, adding, "don't call my mother, she's going to be upset."
Martin's concern for his mother, while charming, probably won't get him out of any of the litany of charges he faces, which include aggravated vehicular assault, felony assault, driving while impaired and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
According to the Manhattan DA, Martin allegedly smashed through a fire hydrant, a phone booth and a tree before crashing into a flower stand attached to a deli on East 4th Street and Second Avenue. Two deli employees were left with broken bones, and one is still suffering from "serious brain trauma."
“Those who drive while impaired not only risk their own lives, but the lives of every pedestrian, cyclist, driver, and passerby who happen to share the road with them,” DA Cyrus Vance said in a statement. “This defendant is charged with seriously injuring pedestrians and destroying thousands of dollars’ worth of property due to his extraordinarily reckless behavior.”
A group of East Village residents are trying to establish a slow zone near the crash site, although anecdotal evidence indicates that slow zones mean nothing to someone fucked up on PCP.