Man charged in police pursuit crash that killed Laurelton woman

Man charged in police pursuit crash that killed Laurelton woman
Photo by Ellis Kaplan
By Patrick Donachie

A Far Rockaway resident has been charged with killing a woman after crashing into her car while fleeing from police, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Court records show that the driver had been convicted of a similar incident in Nassau County in 1989.

Derrick Perkins, 50, was charged with murder, assault, robbery and unlawfully fleeing the police in a motor vehicle, according to the criminal complaint filed by the DA. The document said that at around 12:49 p.m. July 7, near 216-19 Hempstead Ave. in Queens Village, Perkins approached a man and grabbed his own waistband, allegedly hinting that he had a weapon. He took the victim’s cell phone and fled the scene, according to the complaint.

He got into a 2004 BMW and left, pursued by an unmarked police car with its sirens on. About 10 minutes after the robbery, Perkins allegedly ran a red light at the intersection of 225th Street and Linden Boulevard, still pursued by the police. Prosecutors said he slammed into the driver’s side of a Green Saturn driven by Roxina J. Clayton of Laurelton. Police investigators said Perkins was traveling over 50 mph in a 25 mph zone as his vehicle approached the intersection, according to the complaint.

EMS workers pronounced Clayton dead at the scene. A 29-year-old pedestrian was struck after the two cars collided, fracturing his leg. He was taken to a hospital and was awaiting results of surgery, according to the complaint. The DA said police found a cell phone inside the BMW after it was turned upright and the robbery victim identified the cell phone as his.

An additional investigation found that Perkins’ driver’s license was revoked in 1988. Court records indicate that he was convicted in Nassau County court of a similar incident in 1989, when he ran a red light in the midst of a high-speed chase, killing the driver of that car. He was scheduled to make an appearance in Queens Supreme Court on the current charges July 22.

Clayton’s funeral was scheduled to be held at Greater Allen AME Cathedral in Jamaica this week. According to police, she lived a few blocks from the intersection where the incident occurred.

Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdonachie@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.