Mineola, NY - March 21, 2014 - Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that Jonathan Lopez, 22, of East Meadow, was sentenced today by Nassau County Court Judge Tammy Robbins to 10 months in jail for his role in a race on the Southern State Parkway in 2011 that resulted in the death of an off-duty NYPD officer from Massapequa and caused injuries to an FBI special agent working on Long Island.
“Mr. Lopez treated the road as his own personal speedway, and in doing so, put innocent drivers at risk for the sake of a cheap thrill,” DA Rice said. “Today’s sentence is a strong reminder to anyone who would think of putting other lives in danger that street racers will be prosecuted for their crimes.”
Police said Lopez was racing his Nissan 350Z against an off-duty police officer eastbound near Exit 31 on the Southern State Parkway. The police alleged that the two racers made contact and the off-duty police officer left the roadway, struck the trees, and was killed. Lopez then rear-ended the FBI special agent’s Chevrolet Impala, sending her car spiraling down the highway, injuring her. Lopez’s car flipped multiple times after striking the FBI special agent. Lopez was uninjured and was arrested later that morning by the New York State Police.
Lopez was convicted by a jury in November 2013 of one count of Assault in the 3rd Degree (an A misdemeanor), one count of Reckless Endangerment in the 2nd Degree (an A misdemeanor) and one count of Reckless Driving (an unclassified misdemeanor). The jury acquitted Lopez of Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree.
Assistant District Attorneys Brendan Ahern and Michael Bushwack of DA Rice’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau are prosecuting the case. Lopez is represented by Bruce Barket, Esq. and Steven Epstein, Esq.