A trial date has been set for an accused hit-and-run driver indicted in the Brooklyn death of a popular radio personality — and the victim’s family is calling for the public to show up in support.
Kevin Ozoria allegedly crashed his 2010 Honda Accord into Jean Paul Guerrero, known to his 97.9 FM listeners as DJ Jinx Paul, in Cypress Hills on Dec. 19, 2016, and drove off from the scene.
At a hearing Monday, Ozoria gave up his last chance to accept a plea bargain. His case will go to trial on March 5 at King County Criminal Courthouse.
“As a mother, I’m asking for a favor to all fathers, mothers, brothers, friends who have lost their loved ones in the same way I lost my son to join us so that (drivers) don’t play with the law, they don’t play with people’s lives,” Gloria Alvarado, Guerrero’s mother, said following the hearing.
City Councilman and Transportation Committee chair Ydanis Rodriguez called hit-and-runs an “epidemic that is affecting the streets in our city” following the hearing, and said the NYPD does not have the resources to take on the crisis.
“I will continue advocating to make sure the 2020 budget should include the funding (for hit-and-run investigation resourced),” said Rodriguez. “I’m calling the mayor also to help with this, to double the funding so that we can have a double number of police officers dedicated to this squad unit.”
Transportation Alternatives co-deputy director Marco Conner said the advocacy group has recommended several measures to the city’s District Attorneys and the NYPD to help fight the scourge of hit-and-run deaths.
“What happened to Jinx Paul can be prevented,” Conner said. “We have a culture of reckless driving that allows the kind of carnage that we see on our streets.”
Conner said there are about 4,000 cases of reported hit-and-runs in the city, but only a fraction of those are investigated by the police.
Motor vehicle collisions caused 227 deaths and more than 61,000 injuries in New York City last year, according to public data.
Guerrero, 39, was crossing Jamaica Ave. near Sheffield Ave when Ozoria mowed him down more than two years ago, prosecutors said.
Ozorio allegedly drove the vehicle with a shattered windshield to an auto body shop following Guerrero’s death. He surrendered to police five days later.