Off-duty NYPD Officer Neville Smith, 32, was driving drunk on the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens by Rockaway Boulevard when he rear-ended a 2004 Honda at about 4 a.m. Sunday, sending it into a pole and a tree, officials said.
The impact badly injured three people inside. Vanessa Raghubar and Maria Raghubar, 22 and 21, were both critically injured, while Maria’s boyfriend, Justin Harricharran, 20, was seriously hurt.
“He’s had traumatic head and back injuries, but he is probably the one better off,” said one of Harricharran’s relatives, who wouldn’t give her name. “The girls are not doing too well, and they have internal injuries.”
The relative expressed outrage over Smith. “He slammed three young kids that have all their lives. He was drunk. What could we think?” she said. “He ruined their lives!”
Smith, who was treated at the same site, was charged with vehicular assault, assault, driving while intoxicated and refusal to take a Breathalyzer test.
Cops in the Bronx arrested an off-duty police officer whose friend claimed she punched her in the face, officials said. Candice Smith, 31, a neighborhood coordination officer on the force since 2008, was charged with misdemeanor assault. The friend was not seriously injured, authorities said.
A few hours later, also in the Bronx, cops cuffed an off-duty detective for drunken driving, police said. Efrain Medina, 51, was driving near Walton Ave. and E. Fordham Road in Fordham Heights when he got into an accident just before midnight. He took a Breathalyzer test and was arrested on the spot, cops said.
Police in Staten Island arrested an NYPD School Crossing Guard who allegedly punched her nephew, officials said. Katherine Gabel, 55, was charged with misdemeanor assault after her nephew, 47, claimed she punched him in the face and left shoulder, where he’d recently had surgery. He was in pain but not seriously injured, cops said.