Brooklyn man charged with manslaughter, DWI, for Astoria collision that killed his wife: DA

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New details have emerged in the case against a Brooklyn man who allegedly crashed into several cars in Astoria last week while driving drunk, and then drove off in the wrecked vehicle to a residential block in Maspeth four miles away with a gravely injured passenger. The passenger turned out to be his wife, who later died, and the boozed driver told investigators that the couple was being followed when the collision occurred, according to the criminal complaint.

Rey Perez, 27, of Caton Avenue in Flatbush, was arraigned on Friday in Queens Criminal Court on charges of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and other crimes for speeding through stop signs last Thursday morning, crashing into another vehicle and two parked cars, before speeding from the scene to Maspeth where he sought help for his wife, 29-year-old Bridget Enriquez, who later succumbed to her injuries.

According to the charges, at around 4 a.m. on Feb. 22, Perez, who was unlicensed, was observed driving a red Nissan Altima sedan at a high rate of speed through three stop signs before crashing into a Honda Ridgeline pick-up truck near the intersection of 47th Street and 28th Avenue in Astoria. Perez lost control and slammed into two parked cars, an Alfa Romeo SUV and a Nissan Sentra sedan, before he sped from the location, without reporting the incident.

At approximately 4:24 a.m., police from the 104th Precinct in Ridgewood responded to a 911 call of a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of 56th Drive and 61st Street in Maspeth four blocks south of the Long Island Expressway, where they found a red Nissan Altima with heavy damage on the passenger side. Perez had reportedly knocked on the door of a nearby house to ask for help.

Officers found his wife inside the Altima, laying on her stomach unconscious with blood on her face and blood on the passenger seat. EMS responded and rushed Enriquez to Elmhurst Hospital where she was pronounced dead a short while later.

Officers observed Perez as having slurred speech, watery eyes, a strong odor of alcohol emanating from his breath and he was swaying on his feet.

According to the criminal complaint, Perez told police, “I’m sorry. They were chasing me. I feel I was being extorted. I’m sorry. Take me to jail. They were following me. I don’t know who was following me.”

Perez then admitted he was behind the wheel. “Yes, I was driving. I just killed my wife. That is my wife. Somebody was trying to take money from me. I didn’t want to stop. I went as far as I could. My girl told me let’s go. I left.”

He then admitted to police that he had been drinking alcohol. “Yeah. I drank two beers,” Perez said. “I am definitely going to fail a breath test because I had a couple of drinks at the club.”
Perez was transported by EMS to Elmhurst Hospital where a preliminary breath test was administered that indicated his blood alcohol content was .113 percent which is above the legal threshold of .08 percent, according to the charges.

“The consequences of driving drunk and speeding are as tragic as they are predictable,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “As alleged in the complaint, the defendant’s decisions killed his own wife and put the lives of other motorists in danger. We cannot undo this tragedy, but we will hold the defendant accountable.”

Perez was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Julieta Lozano on charges of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting/death, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, and driving without a license. Perez faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.