Police & Fire

Brooklyn Drunk Driver Sentenced For Killing Cyclist During Century Bike Tour

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BOROUGH PARK/KENSINGTON – Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced last week that 40-year-old Abel Antonio Pina Morocho of Borough Park was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison for driving while intoxicated into a group of cyclists during last year’s Century Bike Tour, killing one woman and injuring three others.

Abel Antonio Pina Morocho (Courtesy of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office)

At approximately 9:05am on September 10, 2017, a group of 25 to 30 bicyclists participating in the NYC Century Bike Tour stopped at a red light at the intersection of 12th Avenue and 39th Street. While attempting to pull out of a parking spot in a Dodge Grand Caravan, Morocho rammed into a car parked in front of him before peeling out of the parking space and striking several of the cyclists, according to the investigation.

Morocho’s minivan crashed into Nancy Pease, a 55-year-old Greenpoint resident, trapping her beneath the vehicle as the driver continued forward. During the incident, Morocho also knocked two other bicyclists to the ground as well as a fourth whose leg and bike were run over by the driver. Those victims suffered “scrapes, bruises and pain,” according to Gonzalez’s announcement.

Pease suffered lacerations to the liver and spleen, intra-abdominal bleeding, and a traumatic brain injury. She was in a coma until she succumbed to her injuries on September 22, 2017.

When Morocho’s car came to a stop, witnesses pulled him from the vehicle and held him until the police arrived. After police gave Morocho a breathalyzer test at the scene they found his blood alcohol level was .278—more than three times the legal limit of .08.

Morocho pleaded guilty in June to aggravated vehicular homicide. He was sentenced on Wednesday, June 27, at Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice to an “indeterminate sentence of five to 15 years in prison.”

“This defendant’s decision to drink and then get behind the wheel caused mayhem and the death of an avid cyclist during what was supposed to be a festive bike tour,” Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez said. “We will continue to vigorously prosecute anyone who chooses to engage in blatant criminal behavior that endangers cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.”

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  1. I am curious to know why Ms. Wong did not mention that Mr. Morocho was in the country illegally at the time of the incident. Did she choose to omit this information? Was she too lazy to check on it? Or did the newspaper prevent her from revealing this? Notice of Morocho’s outstanding immigration warrant was clearly noted on his inmate status page while he was held by NYC Corrections.I would have been interested to know if Morocho will be subject to deportation back to his native Ecuador after serving his 5-15 years for killing a woman.Perhaps DA Gonzalez could comment on whether Nancy would be alive today if authorities had enforced the law before she was run down that day?And if Nancy’s family decides to sue because this man should not have been in the country, how much will this cost the taxpayers?P.S. Nancy was not a resident of Greenpoint. She lived on Greenpoint Ave in Sunnyside.

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