By Carlotta Mohamed
A man who was intoxicated while driving and struck a senior causing physical injuries last year on Thanksgiving Day in Whitestone was sentenced to prison on Monday, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
The defendant, Carmine Minichino, 53, of 46th Avenue in Corona, plead guilty in June to second-degree assault, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting serious physical injury, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and failing to stop for a stop sign, Brown said.
Queens Supreme Court Justice Suzanne Melendez sentenced Minichino Monday, Nov. 19, to two and one-half years in prison to be followed by two years’ post release supervision, Brown said. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $1400.
According to Brown, Minichino’s 2009 white Chevy van sped through a stop sign in Whitestone, striking the victim, Paul Sim, 71, who was crossing the street Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, at approximately 6:45 p.m. The impact caused Sim to be hurled in the air and landed several feet away.
After striking Sim, the van proceeded to run over him and Minichino fled the scene abandoning his van a short distance away, according to the charges.
Sim was taken to a local hospital with a compound fracture to his right leg and bleeding on the brain, which required him to undergo multiple surgeries, Brown said.
According to Brown, when Minichino later returned with keys in hand to retrieve the vehicle, he had a moderate odor of alcohol on his breath and bloodshot watery eyes. When police requested to see his license, he was unable to produce a valid driver’s license.
Additionally, Minichino was given an intoxilyzer exam at the 112th Precinct and results indicated that he had a .152 percent percentum or more of alcohol in his blood — which is nearly twice the legal limit of 0.8 in New York City, Brown said.
“Driving isn’t just a privilege, it’s a responsibility and those who get behind the wheel of a car are entrusted to obey posted traffic signs and to be sober at all times,” said Brown. “The defendant will not be incarcerated as a result of his actions.”
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha