The man accused of being behind the wheel during a Friday night hit-and-run that killed a 4-year-old boy has pleaded not guilty—despite having turned himself in.
John Sanjurjo, 33, is charged with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious injury and one count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death after he allegedly fatally struck 4-year-old Kyrillos Gendy—as well as injured his sister and mother—as he left a Richmond Road deli around 8:30 p.m. on Friday. Onlookers say Sanjurjo got out of the car, saw the family lying on the ground and sped off.
But Sanjurjo, who reportedly once helped save eight developmentally disabled children flee a burning bus, told reporters before the arraignment that he wasn't guilty. "You got the wrong guy, man," Sanjurjo said as he entered the courthouse. The judge denied a motion to have the case dismissed, but Sanjurjo made his $50,000 bail and was released from court on Sunday. His attorney said that though the black Mercedes-Benz identified in surveillance videos was in fact registered to Sanjurjo, it was not sufficient evidence to prove that he'd been driving.
Sanjurjo detractors showed up to the courthouse to expound on his history of reckless driving, just last month having allegedly flipped over a car in front of a Dongan Hills home.
"His explanation is that he swerved from a cat, that he was doing 30 miles an hour, which is impossible," Janusis told NY1, adding that no one, police included, believed the cat story.
At the same time as the trial, Kyrillos Gendy's family was attending the boy's funeral St. Mina’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Holmdel, New Jersey. Known as Kyro, the young victim was slated to start kindergarten next month.