Around 1 a.m. on Tuesday, April 27, NYPD Highway Patrol 3 Officer Anastasios Tsakos, 43, was killed when he was violently struck and thrown over 100 feet by a passing vehicle as he was diverting traffic from a previous fatal collision on the Long Island Expressway in Fresh Meadows, in a portion of the 107th police precinct. Tsakos’ death marks the first line-of-duty death for the NYPD this year. He was a 14-year veteran of the NYPD and leaves behind his wife Irene, a six-year-old daughter, and a three-year-old son. “They will never see their father again because somebody did the wrong thing, and we have to understand, every day our officers go out looking to do the right thing. But here’s a good man who won’t be home. Just so much pain,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Tsakos joined the NYPD in January of 2007 and was assigned to Highway Patrol Unit 3, based inside Cunningham Park, in August of 2014. Blue and black bunting was hung over the station door on Tuesday.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea began an early a.m. news conference, saying, “We stand here this morning reminded once again, in law enforcement, there is no such thing as a routine job. We stand here devastated and trying to pick up the pieces of what is a shattered home and a shattered NYPD family.”
PBA President Pat Lynch emphasized the dangers that police officers put themselves in daily. “Last night, when most of us were sleeping, there were New York City police officers out putting themselves at risk. Sometimes we look at police officers, we focus on their uniform and we focus on the stern face that we have to put on to do our job professionally. But a day like today, I think we have to take a moment to think about it, that under that uniform, behind that stern face, was a father, was a husband, was someone that was trying to put their life together for the future of their family. In the police department, there’s two compliments you can give a fellow police officer that top no other: He’s a cop’s cop, and he’s a good guy. And you heard them both in this emergency room. Yes, he was a good guy.”
Thirty-two-year-old Hempstead resident Jessica Beauvais was revealed to be both intoxicated and driving with a suspended license when she hit Tsakos. Beauvais then travelled several exits only to be apprehended after trying again to escape when cornered. She now faces two vehicular manslaughter counts among multiple other charges. Her blood alcohol content was 0.15 — almost double New York’s 0.08 legal limit — when she was tested over two hours after the crash, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. Video at the 107th police precinct shows Beauvais being contrite, “I’m sorry,” she cried with tears noticeable as she was ushered out of the facility. Judge Danielle Hartman ordered Beauvais held without bail via a video arraignment at Queens Criminal Court Tuesday night. Her legal aide Jorge Santos sought a $50,000 bail, but she was deemed a flight risk and presumed for evasion.