An allegedly intoxicated 23-year-old man plowed his Infiniti M35 through a group of pedestrians on a crowded Bushwick sidewalk early Monday morning, sending six people to the hospital, according to the FDNY.
Police say the driver, Naquan Ricks of Brooklyn, fled the scene after crashing into a fence on Halsey Street shortly after 5 a.m., losing his front passenger wheel in the process. He then ran a red light and T-boned another vehicle at the intersection of Schaefer Street and Bushwick Avenue, according to his criminal complaint.
Ricks had red, watery eyes and was slurring his speech, according to the T-boned driver, Ezequiel Burdier. He was arrested half a block away, in front of 26 Schaefer Street, according to the NYPD.
Ricks later told investigators that he "had a couple of beers and tried to make a U-turn and lost control of the car," according to his criminal complaint, and that he knew he had struck pedestrians and fled because he "got nervous." Pedestrian injuries included leg, back and foot pain. One woman suffered cardiac arrest and was hospitalized with substantial foot and lower back pain.
"It's surreal because I could be... It could have been worse. My leg could have been broken. Anything could have happened all for stupidness," victim Ashana Brodie, who was struck on the sidewalk near 1185 Halsey Street and sustained leg injuries, told ABC7. The outlet also recovered harrowing surveillance footage from the scene.
There were roughly 20 people on the sidewalk when Ricks mounted it, according to the outlet. Of the six injured, FDNY transported four people to Woodhull Hospital, one to Brookdale, and one to Kings County.
"I happened to turn and look because we heard the sound of something crashing. He had to be coming down at least 50 miles per hour, maybe more," Latoya Robinson told reporters.
Ricks was arraigned Tuesday morning and charged with vehicular assault, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, failure to obey traffic control signal, operating a motor vehicle under the influence, assault, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving.
Ricks's bail was set at $10,000 cash or bond, according to the Brooklyn DA's office. It was not immediately clear if he made bail. He has four prior arrests: two sealed, and two for marijuana possession. Attorney information for Ricks was not immediately available.
Driver Richard Rojas mounted a Times Square sidewalk in May, killing one woman and injuring 22 other pedestrians. He has since been charged with murder, vehicular homicide and 20 counts of attempted murder. In the wake of that fatal crash, City Councilman Ydnais Rodriguez called for the installation of protective bollards at pedestrian-heavy intersections in NYC.