Hardly two hours after celebrating the start of the New Year, an East Elmhurst teenager died outside his aunts house in Astoria when a Brooklyn man ended a verbal dispute by mowing him down in a car, authorities said.
Family and friends of 18-year-old Sidney Guerrero gathered after his wake Friday night in a heavy rain at the corner of 27th Avenue and 14th Street to leave flowers and say prayers at the site where Queens first murder victim of 2003 lost his life. The following day his body was to be flown to his native Dominican Republic for burial.
He was a sweetheart a fun, outgoing person, said Guerreros sister-in-law, Dalisa Tineo, 18, as she stood last Thursday at a makeshift memorial erected in the lobby of his familys apartment building on 93rd Street and Astoria Boulevard. He had goals, he wanted to be a businessman.
But those dreams were cut down shortly past 2 a.m. Jan. 1 when Felix Pacheco, 25, of Brooklyn allegedly used his 2000 Nissan Maxima to chase Guerrero down and run him over, leaving the teenager to die as he drove away from the scene, the criminal complaint filed by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Pacheco was arraigned last Thursday in Queens Criminal Court before Judge Fernando Camacho on charges of second-degree murder, reckless endangerment, leaving the scene and criminal possession of a weapon, a spokeswoman for the Queens DA said. He was ordered held without bail.
Guerrero had spent the evening before his death celebrating the New Year at a party in his aunts house on 9th Street and 27th Avenue, his sister-in-law said.
But when the rest of the family left to head home, he decided to stay overnight with his cousin.
He told his aunt he was going to the store to buy candy. Ten minutes later when me and his brother came home, they called us he was dead, Tineo said. Nobody wanted him to go out, we told him to come home. He wanted to sleep over.
According to police, Guerrero had gotten caught up in a verbal altercation with a group of men that included Pacheco, who allegedly killed him with his car when the fight escalated. Steven Martinez, Guerreros cousin, had been outside with him at the time.
Steven had nothing to say, Tineo said. Steven was in shock.
Guerrero was a Newtown High School graduate who worked for the United Parcel Service while attending business school. He had moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic as a young child.
He was very aggressive when it comes to fighting, said Kevin Abreu, 16, a neighbor in Guerreros apartment building. Hed never start it, though.
A picture hanging at the entrance of his building lobby amid a collection of memorial candles showed Guerrero lounging on a rocky beach wearing a white bandanna around his head and a Pepe Jeans tank top that showed off his deeply bronzed skin.
A farewell message was scrawled in marker on a piece of cardboard hanging in a mounted frame on the brick facade of his apartment building: Thanks for being a Real Friend. Gonna Miss You.
Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2003 Community News Group
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