Police cruiser kills young Asian man in Queensbridge

Keasia Quarles-Esannason lights a candle for a man the NYPD said was struck and killed by a police cruiser. Photo by Christina Santucci
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An NYPD officer responding to a 911 call struck and killed a young Asian man walking in Queensbridge early Thursday, police and witnesses said.

The officer in question was one of several assigned to Police Service Area 9, which covers most of the public housing projects in Queens, the NYPD said.

Queensbridge residents described the man who was killed as one of several Asian men who lived together a block from the housing complex. They said he had black, spikey hair and was wearing an expensive jacket.

“I think a lot of them were musicians because they always carried like guitars, some type of instruments with them,” said Chuck Johnson, referring to the group of Asian men, who was in the store at the corner of 40th Avenue and 11th Street at the time of the crash. “They had their own style of ways.”

Police said that at 12:43 a.m. the patrol car was going eastbound on 40th Avenue when it hit the man trying to cross mid-block between 10th and 11th streets.

Johnson said he and a few other men ran out of the shop to see what had happened.

“He was laying right here with his face split open,” Johnson said.

EMS arrived shortly afterward and pronounced the man dead, police said, and the NYPD said the investigation into the accident was ongoing.

On Thursday afternoon, Keasia Quarles-Esannason battled the brutal wind to keep a single white candle lit on 40th Avenue in memory of the man killed.

“If the cop was going on a call doing his job and this guy walks in the street and gets hit, it’s no ones fault. Things happen that way. I just pray for both families,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes.

But Johnson also pointed to the lack of any traffic signal at the corner of 40th Avenue and 11th Street.

“You see how they fly up through here. There is no stop sign,” he said, explaining that he and other men had constructed their own stop sign one summer.

“We built the actual stop sign to slow these cars down because they fly through here like this is a speedway, like we are on the Autobahn or something,” he said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 6:16 pm, February 21, 2013
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Reader feedback

Reader from Queensbridge says:
The police car did not have it's sirens, or lights on. It was speeding extremely fast.
Feb. 21, 2013, 10:12 pm
Toya says:
This is just too sad!! They actually have a video of the incident on YouTube and everything! My condolences
Feb. 22, 2013, 12:52 am
Tony says:
If the driver was not a police officer then people would say, THIS WAS NOT AN ACCIDENT. Officers know better, police cars MUST have their sirens and lights on. My condolences for the family and friends of the Asian man.
Feb. 22, 2013, 11:45 am
Wang shi from Queensbridge says:
I was there the police car had no lights and no siren that pig probably thought he was night rider speeding through the hood or something these young cops are idiots.

Look how the writers of this article quoted the guy at the end ya'all, "autobahn" as if hes not educated its spelled audobon and this little inside racist joke within the media has to stop, Rebecca Henely and Christina Santucci, its just like "AirWreCka McBride" on that other news show writing out what blacks say phonetically or wrong just for giggles. It's time for a REAL change. FAST
Feb. 22, 2013, 2:23 pm
chris from jamaica says:
—— police
Feb. 22, 2013, 4:05 pm
Manny from East New York says:
Feb. 22, 2013, 6:25 pm
Devil Child from brooklyn says:
Feb. 23, 2013, 1:39 am
Chris from Out of town says:
This is a sad story. My condolences to the loved ones of man killed.

Wang shi. You seem confused. The article refers to German autobahns where they do not have a speed limit, merely an advisory to go no faster than 81 mph. And that is how it's spelled... "autobahn."

So it's not referring to whatever an "audobon" is. Think clearly before making accusations of racism.
Feb. 23, 2013, 3:24 pm
Yshaggy from Southeast Queens says:
Police have a hard job sometimes following all the rules is impossible, but what is possible is crossing the street in a responsible manner. Look both ways, use crosswalks and act like your life is meaningful.
Feb. 24, 2013, 8:32 am
copsupporter from Brooklyn says:
The people here making hateful comments need to get a life, this was an accident. Do you people really think they hit the person with the police car on purpose? If you say yes, then shame on you. Cops have a hard enough job as it is without the ignorant criticism from people like you. This have to deal with many things in a daily basis and now they have this to think about. Shame on you people, grow up. Also, if you think you have what it takes, then you become a cop.
Feb. 24, 2013, 7:36 pm
Jenny from Queens says:
Garbage like this is why I want to leave the country! Damn Police State America!
Feb. 24, 2013, 9:44 pm
Citizen from Queens says:
These pigs get in there cars and use full throttle without regard. They break traffic infractions every minute they drive. With the amount if police presence in NYC there is no need for these pigs to be speeding anywhere. RIP to the victim I hope he haunts the every officer on the scene that night.
Feb. 25, 2013, 8:54 am
Keith Cozart from O-Block says:
I seen the video :/
Feb. 25, 2013, 6:17 pm
mels from qb from queensbridge says:
—— the police this issint the first time they make a mistake like this...
Feb. 27, 2013, 1:12 pm
Ek from Manhattan says:
Wow, how is this not on the other news?
Feb. 28, 2013, 9:03 pm
Victoria Mary Stong from Queensbridge South says:
Well, as you all know now, THE POLICE LIED AGAIN. They claimed their sirens and lights were on when they hit the pedestrian . . .LIARS. In fact the N.Y.P.D. Internal Affairs Bureau said the Murderous Officers didn't turn them on until AFTER they hit and killed the innocent Asian gentleman!! Even after hitting him, THE POLICE MADE NO ATTEMPTS AT EMERGENCY LIFE-SAVING AID THEY WERE TRAINED TO GIVE AS THE VICTIM LAY BLEEDING WITH LABORED BREATH. Even if they were TRYING to be careful, this one option to redeem themselves in some way and try to save him was blatantly disregarded. Even as witnesses surrounded the Police pleading with the 114 Pct./ Satellite-P.S.A.9 P.O.'s to help the Asian victim, they choose to let him slowly die so inhumanely. This just goes to show a complete disregard for life. This Police crime by the New York City Housing Police Officers was utterly avoidable!! SHAME ON THE POLICE!! :-/
March 2, 2013, 7:50 am
Ms. Victoria Mary Stong from Queensbridge South says:
Additionally, where's the proof these 114th Precinct Housing Police Officers were truly responding to an "Unfounded Call"? With all due respect, the Police have a long history of Cover-ups and hiding like cowards behind the Blue Wall since the RACIST Police Department was created. How does the Asian victims Family, the Queensbridge New York City Housing Authority Community and other Concerned Citizens and Organizations know they didn't lie again? We ALL want to see the phone records right NOW!!
Anyway, if the great Christopher Jordan Dorner responded, you're darn right he'd do EVERYTHING he possibly could to save the MURDERED Asian gentleman and Musician. STOP POLICE MURDERS, CORRUPTION AND BRUTALITY N~O~W AND MARCH AGAINST IT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE FOR ALL OUR SAFETY. :-/
March 2, 2013, 8:46 am
Victoria Mary Stong from Supermarkets&All Communities says:
Just a reminder Police: Retaliation and continued is ILLEGAL. ;-)
March 2, 2013, 11:55 am
Victoria Mary Stong from Queensbridge S.&All Communities says:
I am a Queensbridge South Resident and respectfully, lawfully fight for all Communities. The 114 Pct. is retaliating against me for reporting them to Internal Affairs for an Illegal Arrest etc..
March 2, 2013, 12:01 pm
Puddin from Woodside says:
Im late cuz i juss saw dis video posted on FB frm youtube...I recognize da cop dude is pointing out who he says killed him frm being in my hood in Queens...He was partnered wit a black cop so da hood called them salt and peppa...It bugged me out cuz he was known for harassing ppl...Its true da police are known for speeding through even on sidewalks around these urban neighborhoods...We can only pray dat its not our children we wont one day see upon da cement wit their life tooken...And pray for dat man becuz will hav to repent for his sins some day...
July 30, 2013, 11:26 pm
Ms. Victoria Mary Stong from Queensbridge South Projects says:
Rest in peace Ryo Oyamada. We have you and your Family in our prayers for JUSTICE.
May 26, 2014, 4:11 am
Ms. Victoria Mary Stong from Queensbridge South Projects says:
Witnesses: The Oyamada Attorney needs your testimony in Court so their beloved Son Ryo Oyamada can truly rest in peace. My deepest condolences go out to the entire Oyamada Family. (@)~>~>~
May 26, 2014, 4:14 am
Ms. Victoria M. Stong from Queensbridge South says:
It's obviously just US that don't get justice. Darn shame we can't even cross a street. �� �� �� �� ��
March 20, 2015, 9:59 am

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