Police charge Queens driver in Midwood crash that killed Park Slope cyclist

Police arrested the man who they say killed a cyclist in Midwood after running a red light on Aug. 11.
Brooklyn Paper
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Police arrested a Queens teenager Wednesday on a laundry list of charges nearly two weeks after he blew through a red light in Midwood and killed a Park Slope cyclist.

Officers cuffed 18-year-old Umar Mirza Baig on felony charges including manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, assault, criminal solicitation, and reckless driving, according to police.

Cops also slapped Baig with several moving violations, including disobeying a traffic device and speeding, authorities said.

Baig was driving southbound on Coney Island Avenue behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger when he ran a red light at Avenue L and T-boned another car heading east at 12:27 p.m. on Aug. 11, according to police.

The second vehicle then violently slammed into 52-year-old Park Slope cyclist Jose Alzorriz, killing him, cops said.

Investigators quickly obtained harrowing footage showed both Baig running a red light and the other vehicle crushing Alzorriz from multiple angles, but police declined to immediately charge the Queens resident, and the decision to allow him to walk free drew condemnation from safe street advocates and local politicians, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and local state Sen. Andrew Gounardes.

Baig was arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Justice Danny Chun at 12 p.m. on Aug. 21, when Jennifer Nocella, the prosecuting attorney for the District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s office, requested a $100,000 bail in bonds or $50,000 cash bail, and that Baig hand over his United States passport because she said he could leave the country to Pakistan, where he has family.

Nocella also requested that Baig hand over his driver’s license, which has not been suspended, according to Oren Yaniv, a spokesman for the DA’s office.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Lewisohn asked Justice Chun to lower the bond and said the scene depicted in the video footage was merely a tragic accident.

“We’ve seen the footage […] and as tragic as it is, it is still an accident, no more, no less,” Lewisohn told the judge.

The defense attorney also noted that Baig had never been arrested before and that he was studying to get his General Education Development certificate in order to enroll in Kingsborough Community College in Manhattan Beach.

Chun ultimately set the bail bond at $50,000 and $10,000 in cash bail and ordered Baig to hand over his passport, but did not ask him to surrender his driver’s license.

Baig’s father told Lewisohn in the courtroom that he would be able to provide $10,000 for the cash bail on the same day, but the defendant was not immediately released, according to the Department of Corrections website, which listed Baig as being held at the Brooklyn Detention Center on Atlantic Avenue.

Judge Chun set Baig’s next court date for Oct. 23.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260-2511, or email
Updated 6:08 pm, August 21, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Good! Life in prison, take all the family’s assets.
Aug. 21, 12:12 pm
Frank from Furter says:
5-15 max.
Aug. 21, 1:58 pm
Ben from Brooklyn says:
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge is total out of control the guy needs help.
Aug. 21, 3:56 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
He's gonna be out of the country by Monday.
Aug. 21, 5:24 pm
Kukamonga says:
Nothing wrong with living at home. Don't believe the propaganda. Save money on rent.
Aug. 21, 9:35 pm
Kukamonga says:
Except that you end up a loser &/or white supremacist.
Aug. 22, 7:57 am
Kukamonga says:
Living at home keeps the demand for housing down. These greedy landlords in NY charge enough for slum housing. NO thanks. I will stay in my rodent and roach free, clean, and secure complex. Could care less what people think because most people are not smart and brainwashed without realizing it.
Aug. 22, 4:59 pm
Kukamonga says:
See? I’m a total loser living off ma moms, yo!
Aug. 22, 8:13 pm
Bill DeBlasio from NYC says:
Karma's a b**ch for you cyclists who have a total disregard for pedestrians and traffic laws...
Aug. 22, 11:26 pm
Bill DeBlasio from NYC says:
Karma's a b**ch for you cyclists who have a total disregard for pedestrians and traffic laws...
Aug. 22, 11:26 pm
kukamonga says:
Yep and saving money on rent that would normally go to those slumlord landlord roach and rat rodent infested six story buildings.
Aug. 23, 6:49 am

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