Julia Moro
The defendant hit speeds exceeding 115 mph on city streets in attempt to dodge police in a vehicle similar to this.
By Julia Moro

A Bronx resident who pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and other charges for drag racing on the Nassau Expressway in Queens will go to jail for six months, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Juan Ramirez, 26, led police on a high-speed chase through Springfield Gardens, hitting and at times exceeding 115 mph in August 2016, the DA said.

“This defendant endangered the lives of many people, not to mention himself, when he decided to race on our streets,” Brown said. “Drag racing on city streets and expressways is a disaster waiting to happen. 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.”

According to the charges, Ramirez was driving an enhanced 1992 red Honda Civic on Aug. 23, 2016 around 2 a.m. when he was seen racing another driver on the Nassau Expressway in Queens County. A police officer stopped the defendant by angling the police vehicle in a position to cut off Ramirez’s path. The defendant slowed his vehicle, pulled over on the side of the expressway, but then accelerated and took off.

During the high-speed chase, Ramirez drove into a cul-de-sac and crashed into a fence but still attempted to flee by accelerating in reverse and nearly injuring a police officer at the scene, according to the charges. The car’s bumper was caught in the fencing he had crashed it into. The defendant did not give up, then jumping from the vehicle. Following a brief chase on foot, Ramirez was apprehended.

Ramirez, who lives in the Bronx, pleaded guilty in April to reckless endangerment and participating in an unregulated speed contest or race before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron.

On Monday, Kron imposed a sentence of six months’ jail time to be followed by five years’ probation.

Reach reporter Julia Moro by e-mail at jmoro@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4574.

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