Crash Cop Trial Goes to Jury
April 2, 2004
Officer could get 7 years. in fatal DWI
By Nancie K. Katz Ð Daily News Staff Writer
A jury began deliberating yesterday on vehicular manslaughter charges against an off-duty cop accused of driving drunk when he collided with a motorcyclist.
Officer Victor Wilson, 43, of Tottenville, S.I., could face up to seven years in prison if convicted of vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
Wilson’s vehicle struck Stefanos Kiladitis’ motorcycle on June 19, 2002, at 88th St. and Fort Hamilton Parkway, according to testimony.
The 21-year-old motorcyclist died from his injuries three days later.
During a three-week trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Wilson contended he was not drunk when he was driving home after bowling with friends.
His attorney called the collision a “terrible accident” and accused Kiladitis and his friends of using Fort Hamilton Parkway as a private racetrack, speeding at least 25 mph above the 30 mph limit. He said Wilson did not show any signs of intoxication.
Kiladitis’ family has accused the NYPD of protecting its own in the collision. Prosecutors charge the Staten Island cop ran a red light after drinking at a bowling alley while off-duty.
Two hours after the accident, Wilson’s blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.11 – .01 above the legal limit.
A police officer who arrested Wilson said he did not detect any alcohol when he arrived at the scene, but he testified that a state highway officer suspected Wilson was intoxicated.
Even though he knew Wilson had failed his sobriety test at the scene, Sgt. Bruno Bolusi told jurors that he considered him fit for duty based on his observations.
During the trial, prosecution and defense attorneys presented witnesses who gave differing views of the cop’s sobriety when the accident occurred.
Following the tragic deaths in August 2001 of a pregnant Sunset Park woman her son and her sister, who were mowed down by drunken off-duty cop Joseph Gray, the NYPD has vowed to crack down on officers who drive while intoxicated.
Gray was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison. Wilson has been suspended from the force.