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Drunk Driver Was on Failed Murder-Suicide Bid When He Hit Rollerblader: DA

By Aidan Gardiner | April 11, 2017 11:06am
 Terrance Smith, right, fatally struck Michael Joefield, left, in Brownsville Saturday night, police said.
Terrance Smith, right, fatally struck Michael Joefield, left, in Brownsville Saturday night, police said.
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Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department and Facebook/Facebook/Michael Joefield

BROOKLYN — An enraged drunk driver was trying to kill himself and his passenger when he said he was "going to crash this b---h" and mowed down a rollerblader in East New York Saturday, prosecutors said.

Terrance Smith, 37, was drunk after drinking some beers and was driving his Infiniti with another man, Derrick Edwards, when he became enraged and said he hoped to kill them both before pressing down on the gas, prosecutors said.

He then slammed Michael Joefield, 21, a college student who was rollerblading near Glenmore Avenue and Powell Street about 8:35 p.m., according to the Brooklyn District Attorney's office.

Joefield, who lived in Crown Heights and was a biology sophomore at Medgar Evers, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Smith then crashed into some parked cars and took off on foot, only to be arrested near Junius Street and Pitkin Avenue, police said.

He was arraigned Monday on manslaughter charges and held on $1,000,000 bond, according to prosecutors and jail records.

Smith, who's from Ohio, has been arrested three times there, records show. In March 1998, he was arrested for disobeying a traffic law and then refusing to show Cleveland police officer Jerome Adams his license, records show.

He was arrested again August 1999 for failing to properly display his plates or a sticker, records show.

He had been jailed in his native Cuyahoga County, Ohio, in October 2001, but it wasn't immediately clear why, an official there said. It was not clear when he was released from there.

In June 2005, Cleveland police officer John Hudelson arrested him for not wearing a seatbelt while he was speeding, records show.

He is due back in Brooklyn Criminal Court on Friday, records show.

Joefield was remembered as a devoted student who loved rollerblading and his mother, friends said.

"He loved his rollerblades. That was his thing. He'd been doing that for quite some time. As soon as it got warm out, he'd get on his skates," said family friend Lennard White, 52.

"He just made the dean's list last Wednesday. His mom was so excited. She and her son were very close," he added.