By Julie Shapiro
TRIBECA — The man who was driving the Frites 'N' Meats food truck when it exploded in TriBeCa last month has been charged with reckless endangerment, officials said this week.
Mohamed Beydoun, known to fans as "Moody," was given a desk appearance ticket after FDNY investigators found that the burger truck was carrying twice the legal amount of propane when it crashed into another car on the West Side Highway April 11, an FDNY spokesman said.
Beydoun, who owns Frites 'N' Meats with his two brothers, had also left the stove on while he was driving, a source said.
Beydoun received the desk appearance ticket on April 29 and is due in court on June 6, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said.
Prosecutors said they could not release the details of the charges until then. An FDNY spokesman said the truck was carrying four tanks of propane although it was only allowed to have two.
The fiery crash sent Beydoun to the hospital with severe burns, especially on his arms. He is expected to make a full recovery in the next couple of months, though he will always have scars, said Hiassam Beydoun, Mohamed's brother.
"The truck is gone, but it could have been much worse," Hiassam Beydoun said this week.
No one else was seriously injured in the crash.
Hiassam Beydoun did not immediately comment on his brother's arrest, except to say that when Frites 'N' Meats returns to the streets this summer, the new truck will have safety precautions that go above and beyond the city's codes, including emergency fuel cutoff switches.
"The risk is always going to be there, but we're going to do as much as we can to mitigate it," Beydoun said. "Safety is first and foremost."
Beydoun said Mohamed began talking about reopening Frites 'N' Meats almost as soon as he regained consciousness, much to his brothers' surprise.
"At first we said, 'Let's let everyone catch their breath, and then see what happens,'" Hiassam Beydoun said. "But [Mohamed] had Ali [the third brother] and myself out looking for a truck while he was still in the hospital."
The Beydouns recently bought their new truck and hope to have Frites 'N' Meats back on the road by early August. The core menu of burgers and fries will stay the same.
"All three of us missed it, and we can't wait to be back," Hiassam Beydoun said.