After a seven-year search, police have caught the suspect wanted in a 2005 hit-and-run fatality in Ozone Park, thousands of miles away from where the incident happened.
Paula Bartolo, 56, was arrested by authorities in Spain and was extradited to New York on Dec. 21 to face first-degree manslaughter charges in the incident, which left a developmentally disabled teenager dead. Police say Bartolo, a man, hit the boy on purpose. There were a number of witnesses to the incident.
On Oct. 26, 2005 at 8:30 a.m., Jeffrey Javier, 15, was hit by a gray Chevy Corsica, allegedly being driven by Bartolo, at the intersection of 101st Street and Rockaway Boulevard in Ozone Park, adjacent to John Adams High School and a block and a half from the 106th Precinct.
According to police, Bartolo allegedly ran over Javier intentionally after becoming angry at how slowly he was walking across the street. Bartolo allegedly was trying to make a right turn onto Rockaway Boulevard from 101st Street. The teenager, who was a special needs student, was on his way to school when he was hit. His mother had just dropped him off.
Witnesses said Bartolo yelled at the teenager, then slammed his foot on the gas and hit him in the intersection.
Witnesses say further that Bartolo then put the car in reverse and ran over him again. He then fled, leaving Javier in the street. The teenager died a few days later at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center when his parents decided to take him off life support after he was declared brain dead.
Police were able to trace the car to Bartolo’s daughter and had identified him as a “person of interest” on Oct. 31, 2005, but they say he had already left the country by then.
According to published reports, Bartolo may have fled to an unspecified Latin American country immediately after the crime, but police were unable to find him there. He was found in Spain after police uncovered a travel itinerary.