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Queens Driver Faces Judge in Hit-And-Run Death of Bicyclist

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | July 24, 2012 11:07am

LONG ISLAND CITY — A Long Island City motorist faced a judge last week for allegedly drunkenly striking and killing a 37-year-old bicyclist who was bringing flowers to his new girlfriend, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Monday.

The driver, Alex Batista, 25, who faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of manslaughter and other charges, was found sprawled out on the sidewalk and bleary-eyed after crashing his car several blocks away from the scene of the initial accident.

“This defendant’s decision to get behind the wheel of a car while allegedly intoxicated is incomprehensible and cost an innocent young man his life,” Brown said. “Drinking and driving is never a good idea — and all too often has deadly consequences.”

According to the charges, Batista, of Long Island City, was speeding in his 2006 Black Infinity M35 on Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside on July 18, just before 11 p.m. when he struck Roger Hernandez, 37. 

Hernandez was slammed into the windshield and then was tossed off the car and onto the roadway near 39th Place, according to Brown.

Suffering massive head and body trauma, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Batista allegedly fled the scene and later crashed into a building at 58-16 Laurel Hill Blvd., approximately 10 blocks away.

When cops arrived, Batista was lying on the sidewalk a few car lengths from his car. He had allegedly had bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech and was acting in an extremely belligerent manner, police said.

Cops also smelled an odor of alcohol at the scene and recovered two bags of marijuana.

Batista was arraigned last Friday night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Michael Yavinsky on a criminal complaint charging him with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Batista has also been charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly being highly uncooperative with police at the scene and approaching a police officer in a threatening manner after being told to stay back, according to the DA's office.

He was ordered held on $300,000 bail and to return to court on Aug. 9.