By Gina Martinez
SPRINGFIELD GARDENS — A Bronx man pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment for racing on the Nassau Expressway in Queens, leading police on a 115-mph chase through Springfield Gardens, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
The indictment claimed 26-year-old Juan Ramirez was behind the wheel of an enhanced 1992 red Honda Civic on Aug 23, 2016 at 2 a.m., racing with an unapprehended driver along the Nassau Expressway. Brown said a police officer initiated a car stop by turning on the police car sirens and lights and angling in a way to cut off Ramirez’s path. He slowed down, pulled the Honda toward the side of the expressway, but then hit the accelerator and took off.
Brown said Ramirez then led police on a high-speed chase through Springfield Garden, reaching speeds up to 115 mph. The charges said Ramirez drove into a cul-de-sac and crashed into a fence, but still tried to flee by accelerating in reverse and nearly running over a police officer. Brown said when the car’s bumper was caught in the fencing, Ramirez jumped out of the vehicle and was caught by police after a short foot chase.
Brown said drag racing on city streets and expressways is a disaster waiting to happen.
“Not only did this defendant endanger himself, but everyone else as well,” he said. “A vehicle weighing in excess of 2,500 pounds and traveling at a high rate of speed is transformed into a potentially deadly missile. A bump in the road, the twitch of a hand or even a sneeze could have resulted in death and destruction. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated in Queens County. The defendant deserves some time to cool his need for speed and will get just that when sentenced to jail time in the coming weeks.”
Ramirez was scheduled for sentencing June 18 when he faces six months in jail and five years probation.
— Gina Martinez