Hit-and-Run Driver Convicted of Manslaughter For Killing Cyclist in Williamsburg

Monday, September 25, 2017


Hit-and-Run Driver Convicted of Manslaughter
For Killing Cyclist in Williamsburg

Driver Swerved Into Designated Bike Lane

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 57-year-old man has been convicted of reckless manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident and reckless driving in connection with the 2016 hit-and-run death of 35-year-old Queens cyclist and advocate Matthew von Ohlen.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The driver in this case engaged in the types of criminal actions I am determined to prosecute in Brooklyn in order to reduce fatalities on our roads and streets. The jury has now agreed that this was not an accident but a crime, and this defendant will be held responsible for his reckless behavior that cost an innocent man his life.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Juan Maldonado, 57, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He was convicted today of second-degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting and reckless driving following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Suzanne Mondo. He faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on October 18, 2017

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on July 2, 2016, at approximately 2:37 a.m., the defendant was behind the wheel of a black Chevy Camaro in the vicinity of Grand Street and Manhattan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The defendant swerved into a designated bike lane on Grand Street where the victim was riding his bike, sped through a red light at an intersection and then struck the victim. According to the evidence, the defendant hit the victim’s bicycle from behind causing the victim to fall. The defendant continued driving, running over the victim and dragging him approximately 10 to 20 feet as he sped away. Part of the incident was captured on surveillance video.

The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Douglas Marquez and Stephanie Mishler of the District Attorney’s Grey Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Nocella, Deputy Bureau Chief, Assistant District Attorney Danielle Eaddy, Chief, and Assistant District Attorney Craig Esswein, Deputy Unit Chief of the District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Unit.