We love how the headlines always say “ex-cop.” He was still a cop when he killed Julio Ortega-Moncada. He was sacked because of the incident. From AP, July 25:
Ex-cop gets prison for DWI fatality
NEW YORK – A former police officer will go to prison for killing a pedestrian while speeding drunk in the wrong direction in a closed lane of the Queensboro Bridge.
Brandon Colon, 31, pleaded guilty on June 4 to second-degree manslaughter in the death of Julio Ortega-Moncada. He was sentenced Wednesday to two to six years in prison after a plea deal; he had faced up to 15 years if he had been convicted after trial.
State Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman called the death “a dreadful loss” and said, “I extend my condolences to the family.”
At his sentencing, Colon addressed the victim’s family, many of whom were in court. “I do regret it,” he said. “I can never escape what happened. I want to personally apologize to the family. I am truly sorry.”
Colon admitted that he hit Ortega-Moncada, 31, on March 28, 2006, while speeding on the bridge, which spans the East River between Queens and Manhattan. He was off duty at the time.
Ortega-Moncada, a Mexican immigrant and restaurant employee, was married and the father of a now-8-year-old boy. He apparently was walking back to his Queens home after taking photographs from the famous bridge, which was featured in the 2002 “Spider-Man” movie and in the opening credits of the “Taxi” sitcom series.
Colon also admitted he was driving in the wrong direction on the closed lane, that he had been drinking for about two hours before he got behind the wheel, and that he felt his sport utility vehicle hit something.
A felony complaint said Colon had a blood alcohol level of nearly 0.14. In New York a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is considered legally intoxicated.
Colon said he stopped briefly and then drove off. He did not tell police when they stopped him later that he might have been in an accident, said Edison Alban of the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
Ortega-Moncada’s widow, Leticia Valle, has filed a $20 million lawsuit against Colon and the city.
Colon, who worked at an East Harlem housing development, joined the police force in 2000. He was suspended after his arrest and fired after his plea.
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