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Queens Chronicle

DA: driver was drunk, could face 15 years

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Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 10:40 am, Thu Aug 2, 2012.

The allegedly intoxicated man who officers say tore through Long Island City on July 18, killing a bicyclist before crashing his car into the side of a building, faces 15 years in prison if convicted of manslaughter.

Queens Supreme Court on Monday arraigned Alex Batista, 25, on charges of second-degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of the accident, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Batista, of LIC, was traveling east on Greenpoint Avenue when he allegedly hit bicyclist Roger Hernandez, 37, from behind at the avenue’s intersection with 39th Place.

Hernandez allegedly flew onto the car’s windshield at 10:45 p.m. He was then thrown off the vehicle because of the speed of sedan, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Batista allegedly fled the scene.

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

Officers arrived at the intersection and pronounced Hernandez dead from massive head and body trauma.

Fifteen minutes after finding Hernandez, police saw Batista lying in the street next to a black Infiniti M35 sedan allegedly in the spot where he had driven his car into a building at 58-16 Laurel Hill Blvd.

Police reports say Batista had bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and an odor of alcohol, and was acting in an extremely belligerent manner.

Police allegedly recovered two bags of marijuana from the defendant, according to the DA’s Office.

In a second criminal complaint, the defendant is 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.

Batista was held on $300,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 9.

— Josey Bartlett

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