By Madina Toure
Three Queens men and one Manhattan man were charged with “Fast and Furious” movie-style drifting at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week.
Richmond Hill residents Kareem Ali, 26, and Michael Mahabir, 27; Maspeth resident Joel Santiago, 26; and Manhattan resident Darren Tang, 24, were charged with reckless endangerment and other illegal acts for allegedly drifting, a type of driving that involves high speeds and skidding on sidewalks, the DA said. They were seen performing stunt driving in a parking lot before spectators, according to the DA.
“Cars are not toys. Driving at high speeds and intentionally skidding a roughly 3,000-pound vehicle, especially where spectators are gathered, is dangerous and can result in tragedy,” Brown said in a statement. “Following a number of noise complaints from neighborhood residents, the police responded and shut down this illegal and potentially deadly activity.”
On Oct. 26 between 1:30 a.m. and 1:45 a.m., the four men were seen drifting their vehicles. screeching their tires and performing donuts at a high speed rate and in a reckless manner in the Meadow Lake parking lot, according to the criminal complaint filed by the DA.
Numerous civilian spectators were watching the drivers and their vehicles nearly struck other vehicles and stationary objects, such as parking stations, the complaint added.
Mahabir was in a 1990 Nissan 240SX and Tang was in a yellow Hyundai, while Santiago had a 2004 black Subaru Impreza and Ali had a 2005 Lexus, Brown said. All the vehicles were impounded.
The four men were arraigned on Oct. 26 and were scheduled to appear in court Jan. 13, the DA said.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 260–4566.