Skip to comments.Two in Queens killed in crash by drunken driver with violent past
Posted on 11/20/2008 6:38:58 PM PST by Coleus
A drunken driver with a violent past killed a hardworking livery driver and her passenger Sunday when he blew through a red light and crushed her car in Queens, cops said. Daryush Omar - who was charged with murder in 2006 but never tried - had a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit when he plowed his SUV into the livery car driven by Bessy Velasquez.
The mom of two died instantly along with passenger Panayiota Demetriou. Adding to the tragedy, a ghoulish passerby took advantage of the wreck and tried to snatch the victims' wallets as they lay dying. "This is human behavior at its worst," said a police source. "Two innocent lives were claimed by a man who already killed someone, and then a thug tried to take their money." Velasquez's 17-year-old daughter, also named Bessy, fought back tears as she described her love for her mother at an emotional news conference. "She was my hero," Bessy Velasquez said, as her sister, Kimberly, 14, stood by, gripping her shoulder. "I lost one of the greatest people in my life. [The driver] shouldn't have been out."
Carlos Velasquez, the father of the slain driver's children, called her a "courageous woman." "My daughters now don't have a mother," Carlos Velasquez said. Omar, 24, roared his Range Rover into the intersection of 34th St. and 31st Ave. in Astoria at 3:10 a.m., driving directly into the path of the livery car. After initially refusing to take a Breathalyzer at the scene, Omar relented and blew a 0.17, way over the legal limit of 0.08, sources said. A man who answered the door at Omar's home in Plainview, L.I., blithely dismissed the crime. "Accidents happen," the man said. "I don't know what happened. I can't say nothing." Omar, a resident alien from Pakistan, was charged with the 2006 murder of Thomas Whitney Jr. in Chelsea. The case is still pending but Omar was freed until a Dec. 12 court date, according to a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney.
"It's a disgrace of our justice system," said Effie Delimarkos Fletcher, a friend of the 30-year-old Demetriou. The Greek immigrant was studying for a graduate degree in child psychology at Pace University. "The world was ahead of her," Fletcher said. "It was cut short by a [criminal] with a fast car and alcohol in his system." Omar's neighbors said he was under house arrest and forced to wear an electronic ankle bracelet to monitor his movements. Authorities could not confirm that last night. Velasquez, 41, juggled a job at LaGuardia Airport with her shifts driving a livery car for Myrtle Cabs, making about $125 a night to support her two teenage daughters, neighbors said.
"She was a wonderful lady and a very, very nice person," said Sam Colon, 32. "She worked very hard for her girls." Cops also arrested Evangelos Fotiou, 42, who was spotted rummaging through the wreckage to steal the dead women's wallets, a police source said. Fotiou, who said he "was going to give the money back," was charged with interfering with an investigation and larceny.
That bastard deserves castration by fingernail clippers!
Further evidence that NYC has become a cesspool of humanity.
I know this neighborhood very well, as I spend my weekends a few blocks away. It is actually a decent place, in transition from a multi-ethnic, blue collar community to a gentrifed community. Nevertheless, there are scum all over, not just in Astoria or New York as a whole.
All he wanted was the IDs? Sick.
***The case is still pending but Omar was freed until a Dec. 12 court date, according to a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney.***
What is to prevent him from booging back to Pakastan?
Astoria has undergone something of a renewal over the past 15-20 years, but as a whole, the lowest common denominator prevails citywide. And Queens is no doubt the melting pot of the world. My post was directed towards the city, not a specific neighborhood.
I had to be in lower Manhattan for some depositions a couple of months ago, and aside from seeing the usual suits and secretaries scurrying to their office, i was chagrined at the volume of undesireables loitering in the surrounding financial district.
What’s to stop him from killing somebody else?