Cop returns after drunk driving rap

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A veteran Queens detective from the 105th Precinct, who had been on modified duty stemming from a 1998 automobile accident that killed a Queens Village grandfather, has been fully reinstated.

Robert Bolson, 40, was returned to active duty by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly Friday, after completing a 40-day suspension, his lawyer said. He had been on modified duty since the accident in which he was accused of driving while drunk.

“He was credited with time served,” Marvyn Kornberg, Bolson’s attorney, said in a telephone interview. “The NYPD hearing determined he was not responsible for the accident.”

It was not immediately known where Bolson had been assigned.

The fatal accident occurred on April 26, 1998, when the off-duty Bolson broadsided Federico Hurtado, who was returning home with his wife Hilde, at 222nd Street and 93rd Avenue in Queens Village. The crash killed Hurtado and critically injured his wife.

State Supreme Court Justice Seymour Rotker cleared the 15-year Police Department veteran June 21, 2001 of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, assault, vehicular assault and criminally negligent homicide in the car accident, which killed Hurtado.

In the non-jury trial, Rotker decided Bolson was not guilty of the serious charges of vehicular manslaughter because it could not be proven that there was a cause-and-effect relationship between Bolson’s drinking and the way he operated his car.

Bolson was found guilty of common-law driving while intoxicated, which means that someone smelled alcohol on his breath or he appeared to have been drinking, but it was not proven through chemical analysis.

After the acquittal, Kornberg was clear to point out that the district attorney could not prove his client had a .10 blood alcohol content, which would make him legally drunk, even though prosecutors contended Bolson was drunk at the time of the accident.

Rotker sentenced Bolson to 90 days of house arrest during which he had to wear an electronic bracelet, 350 hours of community service to be served in a hospital’s emergency room, suspension of his driver’s license for six months and mandatory attendance of a DWI program.

At the time of the sentencing, Kornberg said Bolson was never given a Breathalyzer test at the scene of the accident, but was given a blood test later at North Shore University Hospital.

He said the hospital took four vials of blood, two of which tested positive for alcohol. The other two came back negative, he said.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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