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14-year-old, 3 others struck by Jamaica driver, DA says

Richard Shropshire, 56, of 161-31 120th Ave., told police that he had been drinking and that he regularly uses heroin after his five-block rampage came to an end on 164th Street, Brown said.

Latoya Davis, 14, was in intensive care and breathing through a respirator at Mary Immaculate Hospital Tuesday, but she was listed in stable condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

"The defendant is alleged to have driven his car in a reckless manner that created a grave risk of death and to have injured four women, including a 14-year-old girl who remains hospitalized on a ventilator," Brown said in a statement. "According to the charges, the defendant admitted that he had been drinking vodka throughout the day and also that he is a heroin user."

Shropshire was still hospitalized Tuesday for minor injuries. He faces a litany of charges, including assault, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, vehicular assault, leaving the scene of an accident, driving under the influence and drug possession, Brown said. He could be sentenced to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Shropshire's rampage began about 11 p.m. Saturday when he slammed his Jeep Cherokee into an iron fence outside the South Jamaica Houses at 160th Street and 107th Avenue, police said. He allegedly rear-ended a 1999 Nissan and injured the two women in the car, although it was unclear how badly they were hurt, Brown said.

He threw the Jeep in reverse and then sped off, hitting three parked cars as he headed east on 107th Avenue, Brown said.

Shropshire plowed into another parked car and knocked over a telephone pole as he turned onto 164th Street, the district attorney said. He careened onto the sidewalk and allegedly struck Latoya in front of her 164th Street home, Brown said. A neighbor, Claudia Lexie, was also injured, the DA said.

The car came to a stop a few houses down the block when Shropshire flipped over and crashed through a metal fence and onto a lawn, Brown said.

Latoya was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital, where she was still listed in intensive care Tuesday. She broke her pelvis, lost a finger and suffered a gash to her face, the district attorney said. The extent of Lexie's injuries was unclear.

Shropshire tried to climb out of the car and was arrested by Police Officer Brian Wood of the 103rd Precinct, the DA said. Shropshire slurred his speech and smelled of alcohol as officers interrogated him, Brown said.

"He stated that he was drinking vodka throughout the day and that he uses heroin," a spokeswoman for Brown said.

Three clear envelopes containing heroin were found inside Shropshire's car, she said.

"He will be vigorously prosecuted," Brown said.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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