STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE
Friday, March 12, 2004
By SAM DOLNICK
ADVANCE STAFF WRITER
A Livingston cop accused of driving drunk and fatally injuring a 21-year-old motorcycle rider in Brooklyn did not appear to be intoxicated at the accident scene, according to two police officers who testified yesterday.
Police Officer Victor Wilson, a Davis Court resident who had been assigned to the North Shore's 120th Precinct, is charged with running a red light at the corner of 88th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway in Bay Ridge while intoxicated on June 19, 2002, hitting Bay Ridge resident Stefanos Kiladitis and launching him into the air.
Sgt. Bruno Boluci, a 15-year veteran assigned to the 68th Precinct, responded to the accident and testified yesterday in Brooklyn Supreme Court that Wilson's balance was steady, his speech was clear and he did not seem drunk. From his observations, Boluci said Wilson was "fit for duty," which means he did not believe that Wilson was drunk.
However, he did say he "detected a very faint odor of alcohol" on Wilson, who is facing up to seven years in prison if convicted.
While interviewing Wilson several hours after the accident, Boluci asked is he had been drinking. Wilson initially refused to answer, but then said he drank one beer, Boluci testified.
Wilson took a Breathalyzer test nearly two hours after the crash and blew a .11 percent, which is slightly above the legal .10 percent limit. The police officer who administered the test was scheduled to testify today.
Defense attorney Todd Greenberg has suggested the jury should rely more on human observations of Wilson's state than on the Breathalyzer results.
Police Officer Jamie Cafaro, a veteran of almost 12 years also assigned to the 68th Precinct, arrived at the accident scene before Boluci and said yesterday she didn't observe Wilson drunk.
Initially, she didn't smell alcohol on his breath, but when she spoke to him a second time, she said she noticed "a faint smell of alcohol" but perceived no other signs of intoxication.
The Kiladitis family and the Wilson family attended the trial yesterday and shared the courtroom's second row. Although they were seated just a few feet apart, neither side seemed to acknowledge the other.
While some witnesses have claimed Wilson ran a red light, Boluci said Wilson told him the light was changing from green to yellow when he entered the intersection.
The questions posed by the prosecution to the officers on the stand uncovered what appears to be a somewhat sloppy police response on the night of the accident.
Capt. Brian White, a 22-year veteran who testified yesterday, said he had to ask Boluci three times to take Wilson to the 78th Precinct for further questioning after he was arrested for drunken driving. White said he finally walked Boluci to his police car to make sure he left the scene.
Muddying the waters further, Boluci said someone who may or may not have been a police officer removed Wilson's police baton and helmet bag from his 1995 Chrysler upon Wilson's request. Boluci said he did not record who removed the items or what exactly was taken.
In addition, while completing a form to determine whether Wilson was sober enough for duty, Boluci checked the box "fit for duty," as well as "unfit for duty."
Boluci said yesterday he meant to check the box "fit for duty."
Sam Dolnick is a news reporter for the Advance. He may be reached at Dolnick@siadvance.com.
STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE