Report: Cop may have been on the phone when she hit Williamsburg pedestrian

July 9, 2013 Heather Chin
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The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau has subpoenaed the phone records for the police officer who was at the wheel of a marked police van when it hit 61-year-old Williamsburg resident Felix Coss on Saturday, July 6. A witness told police that they saw the officer on the phone when the van hit Coss at around 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Broadway and Hooper Street.

The officer, Paula Medrano, serves in the 88th Precinct, and was reportedly in civilian clothing at the time of the accident. She has refused to turn over her phone, necessitating the subpoena for her phone records.

No charges have yet been filed and officials say the officer has not been suspended or placed on desk duty.

Driving while talking or texting on a cell phone is illegal in New York, currently punishable by a fine of up to $100 and a five-point penalty on the driver’s license. Recently passed updates to this law will increase points, fines and other punishments at points throughout 2013.

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Coss, a Spanish teacher at the nearby Beginning with Children Charter School, was walking north across Broadway along Hooper Street when a marked NYPD van fatally hit him while making a left-hand turn. Coss was taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, where he died.

Police report that Coss had the right-of-way and was in the crosswalk. The investigation is ongoing.


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