Intoxicated driver who killed officer in Queens hit-and-run knew she ‘hit something’: Court doc

Queens

QUEENS — A criminal complaint against the Long Island woman accused of driving drunk and fatally striking an NYPD officer early Tuesday in Queens reveals new details about the moments leading up to the deadly hit-and-run and the subsequent police chase.

Jessica Beauvais, 32, admitted to police after the crash that she had drank and smoked marijuana hours before the deadly incident, while recording a live podcast Monday night, according to the complaint sent from the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

“I drank two glasses of wine…and then dropped my son off in Hempstead,” Beauvais said to police. “I smoked a joint…before my podcast that I did in Brooklyn. I brought the bottle of wine I had with me into the podcast. I had two shots of 1800 Patron.”

The Hempstead woman said she didn’t know where she was going when she left Brooklyn in her Volkswagen Passat, so she relied on her GPS for guidance.

According to the complaint, Beauvais ended up on the Long Island Expressway in Queens, where she was seen speeding eastbound just before 2 a.m. Tuesday, heading toward Exit 26 for Francis Lewis Boulevard, in the Fresh Meadows area.

Officer Anastasios Tsakos, a 14-year NYPD veteran, was working to divert traffic near the exit after an earlier crash and the area was blocked off by several traffic cones and a marked police vehicle with its emergency lights on, according to the document.

Police said the woman’s car veered around traffic, struck Tsakos, and she continued driving.

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“I did hear a thump, so I knew I hit something, but I didn’t see what it was,” Beauvais told police.

Beauvais was seen by another traffic officer continuing to speed east on the highway after the collision with “severe frontal damage to the vehicle, including a caved in windshield, front hood and roof, as well as a traffic coned dragging underneath the front of the vehicle,” the complaint reads.

“There is no way to not know that you struck an individual,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a press briefing Tuesday.

The other officer said he waved his hands and shouted for the driver to stop until he was forced to move out of the way to avoid also being struck by the vehicle, according to the complaint.

He and two other police vehicles then began to chase the car with their lights and sirens on, indicating for Beauvais to stop the vehicle, however she kept going, he said.

The officer said the woman exited the highway via the Horace Harding Expressway and was then seen driving on the sidewalk.

He said he drove his vehicle up behind her to prevent her from fleeing, at which time she put her car in reverse and rammed into the front of his marked police vehicle two times.

At this point he got out and was able to remove Beauvais from the driver’s seat of her car and observed that she appeared to be intoxicated, with watery, bloodshot eyes and a strong odor of alcohol on her breath and body, according to the complaint.

“I made a left turn and a right turn, and ended up at a gas station where the cops stopped me,” Beauvais said in her statement. “I don’t know why they stopped me, speeding I guess.”

The document shows the woman was then taken to the 112th Precinct, where she took a breathalyzer in which she blew a .15 percent, well above the .05 considered legally “impaired” by the state.

The Queens District Attorney’s Office later said Beauvais was facing a slew of charges, including manslaughter; leaving the scene of an incident without reporting/death; “unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle” in the second and third degree; operating a motor vehicle while under influence of alcohol or drugs, as a felony; aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree; operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; operating motor vehicle while under influence of alcohol; reckless driving; and operating a vehicle approaching a parked, stopped, standing authorized emergency vehicle. 

Beauvais was remanded without bail; she faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Tsakos leaves behind a wife and two young children, ages 3 and 6.

Funeral services for the fallen hero are expected to be held early next week, Shea told PIX11 Wednesday, but plans were still being worked out as of Wednesday.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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