Off-duty officer in fatal DWI crash fired from NYPD

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WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn – An off-duty transit officer charged with manslaughter in a drunken driving crash that killed a pedestrian in Williamsburg has been fired from the NYPD, the police commissioner said Wednesday.

Nicholas Batka, 28, was off-duty when the SUV he was driving jumped the curb early Saturday and slammed into four people, killing one of them, authorities said.

It happened shortly after 3 a.m. at N. Eighth Street and Bedford Avenue. Batka was scheduled to report to work hours later, at 7 a.m. at the Manhattan transit task force.

Batka faces charges of manslaughter, two counts of vehicular manslaughter, three counts of assault, DWI, driving while ability impaired and driving on a sidewalk, officials said.

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said the paperwork was signed Tuesday terminating Batka. He said drunken driving among the NYPD's ranks -- an average of three cases per month out of some 50,000 employees -- is "not a problem in the department, but we treat it very seriously."

"This sends the message loud and clear: as a police officer, you have an obligation even off-duty to be mindful of the laws that you're supposed to be enforcing when you're on duty," Bratton said. "This case here, there was a significant violation of that trust."

The officers who were with Batka that night have been put on modified duty, with no guns or badges, while the investigation continues, Bratton said.

A witness told PIX11 News she saw Batka climb out of the driver’s seat and into the passenger seat after the crash.

“First, he tried to pull out and get away, then he tried to get out of the car and then he switched sides,” Kelly Convery said.

“It was very apparent he was drunk and when they took him away, he seemed unresponsive.”

Four pedestrians were rushed to a hospital, including a 20-year-old woman. One of them died, while two others were in serious condition shortly after the crash. The driver also was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Immediately after the wreck, Batka was suspended and has since been fired.

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