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An NYPD officer responding to a 911 call struck and killed a young Asian man walking in Queensbridge early Thursday, police and witnesses said.
The officer in question was one of several assigned to Police Service Area 9, which covers most of the public housing projects in Queens, the NYPD said.
Queensbridge residents described the man who was killed as one of several Asian men who lived together a block from the housing complex. They said he had black, spikey hair and was wearing an expensive jacket.
“I think a lot of them were musicians because they always carried like guitars, some type of instruments with them,” said Chuck Johnson, referring to the group of Asian men, who was in the store at the corner of 40th Avenue and 11th Street at the time of the crash. “They had their own style of ways.”
Police said that at 12:43 a.m. the patrol car was going eastbound on 40th Avenue when it hit the man trying to cross mid-block between 10th and 11th streets.
Johnson said he and a few other men ran out of the shop to see what had happened.
“He was laying right here with his face split open,” Johnson said.
EMS arrived shortly afterward and pronounced the man dead, police said, and the NYPD said the investigation into the accident was ongoing.
On Thursday afternoon, Keasia Quarles-Esannason battled the brutal wind to keep a single white candle lit on 40th Avenue in memory of the man killed.
“If the cop was going on a call doing his job and this guy walks in the street and gets hit, it’s no ones fault. Things happen that way. I just pray for both families,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes.
But Johnson also pointed to the lack of any traffic signal at the corner of 40th Avenue and 11th Street.
“You see how they fly up through here. There is no stop sign,” he said, explaining that he and other men had constructed their own stop sign one summer.
“We built the actual stop sign to slow these cars down because they fly through here like this is a speedway, like we are on the Autobahn or something,” he said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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