Brooklyn man indicted on manslaughter, DWI charges in deadly Astoria crash that killed the mother of his child: DA

A Brooklyn man was arraigned Thursday in Queens Supreme Court for a fatal crash in Astoria that mortally wounded the mother of his child. He drove nearly four miles to Maspeth before seeking help for her.
File photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A Brooklyn man was indicted by a Queens grand jury on charges of manslaughter, drunk driving and other crimes for a fatal collision in Astoria that killed his long-time girlfriend and mother of their young child in February.

Ray Perez, 27, of Caton Avenue in Flatbush, was arraigned Thursday in Queens Supreme Court on a 13-count indictment charging him with vehicular manslaughter for allegedly speeding through a stop sign in Astoria, colliding with another vehicle and slamming into two parked cars, and then driving nearly four miles away to a street in Maspeth before seeking help for his 29-year-old girlfriend Bridget Enriquez, who later succumbed to her injuries.

“A mother’s life was taken due to the alleged reckless actions of the defendant who is accused of getting behind the wheel after a night of drinking and then failing to immediately get help after his passenger was seriously injured,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.

According to the charges, from approximately 9:15 p.m. on Feb. 21 to 1:16 a.m. the following morning, Perez and Hernandez were at NYC Gentleman’s Club at 26-50 Brooklyn Queens Expwy. in Woodside, where Perez downed multiple mixed drinks containing alcohol. Bouncers escorted Perez out of the premises at 1:16 a.m. and he became engaged in a dispute with bar staff. He grabbed a shovel and swung it at the bouncers before leaving with Enriquez in a red Nissan Altima.

Perez returned to the club at approximately 3:56 a.m. and started another altercation. Video surveillance showed Perez driving the wrong way on a one-way street and chasing after a group of men, which appeared to include the bouncers who removed him earlier. Perez was observed driving his Nissan Altima on 28th Avenue in Astoria by a police officer from the 114th Precinct who noticed he had a bent license plate and tried to pull him over. Perez sped off.

Perez then proceeded to blow through three stop signs at a high rate of speed in a residential area. His car was struck on the driver’s side by another vehicle, causing him to lose control and hit two parked cars. Perez continued driving and turned down 47th Street to flee the scene without reporting the incident.

At approximately 4:24 a.m., officers responded to a report of a motor vehicle collision at the intersection of 56th Drive and 61st Street in Maspeth and found a red Nissan Altima with heavy damage. Perez had knocked on the door of a resident at the location, which was about 3.9 miles from the Astoria intersection, to ask for help.

Police from the 104th Precinct in Ridgewood responded to the scene and observed Enriquez, whom Perez referred to as his wife, unconscious with blood on her face and the passenger seat. Enriquez was immediately transported by EMS to Elmhurst Hospital, where she was pronounced dead a short while later.

Perez was also observed by officers to have slurred speech, watery eyes, a strong odor of alcohol emanating from his breath and was swaying on his feet. He was transported to Elmhurst Hospital, where blood was drawn and subsequently recovered pursuant to a court-ordered warrant. Toxicology testing revealed that Perez’s blood alcohol content was 0.16%, which is above the legal threshold of .08%, and that he also had Alprazolam and THC in his system.

Perez admitted that he was driving the car and told police he drank two beers. A check of motor vehicle records indicated that Perez’s driver’s license was suspended.

“There is no excuse for ignoring the rules of the road,” Katz said. “Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol puts everyone at risk including, in this case, the defendant’s own girlfriend, who leaves a young child behind.”

Perez was also charged with unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, menacing, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and several other crimes. Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Hartofilis ordered Perez to return to court on June 20. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.