An attorney for the surviving victim of a fatal traffic accident involving off-duty Peekskill police officer Jonathan Mosquera claims the Ramapo Police Department “whitewashed the investigation” by issuing Mosquera traffic tickets instead of charging him with negligent homicide in the Sept. 7 death of 17-year-old Marcos Tawil.
“The investigation was basically a whitewash to get the cop off the hook,” said Herschel Kulefsky, an attorney representing David Maldonado, who was sent to the hospital after being hit by Mosquera’s 2016 Lexus on Route 202 in Ramapo. “You and me both know if this wasn’t a cop he would be in jail in two minutes.
They went to the DA and said they are not going to press charges. Normally, when you get three summonses in a death there is a negligent homicide charge brought. Here, there are four violations and there should have been six.”
Upon the completion of Ramapo’s four-month investigation last Friday—which concluded that Mosquera did not act criminally in causing the death of Tawil—Mosquera was issued the following summonses:
• Speed in zone
• Speed not reasonable and prudent
• Moving from a lane unsafely
• Improper passing
Kulefsky said that, according to Ramapo’s own police report, Mosquera should also have been issued the following summonses:
• Passing in a no-passing zone over two yellow lines (“as it says in the police report”) violating section 1126A of the code.
• Reckless Driving, statute 1212 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law
Ramapo Chief of Police Brad Weidel has not yet responded to an email sent shortly after noon on Wednesday asking for a response to Kulefsky’s contentions, and a call to the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office has not been returned.
In the coming days, Kulefsky said he will call on the Rockland DA to charge Mosquera with vehicular homicide.
“We are hearing that the Argentinian consulate is looking to get involved,” he said. “They are furious, because the boy who died is from there. We are going to put pressure on the DA over there and the Ramapo Police Department is obviously trying to do something.”
Kulefsky, who says that while his client plans a civil suit, his main motivation here is to see justice for Tawil, said the police report makes what happened that September night on Route 202 in Ramapo all too clear.
“Mosquera was late to work and was traveling at high speeds—one lady said he was ‘flying’—and, when the car in front of him slowed down to make the left turn, he tried to go around him on the left and instead collided with him and then hit my client and the boy who died,” Kulefsky said. “The driver in the car in front of him was given a ticket for making an illegal left turn, but it is clear that he was simply turning into a driveway when he was hit by Mosquera and never should have been issued a summons for that.”
Peekskill Chief of Police Eric Johansen said the department “will have no comment on the off-duty accident involving Officer Mosquera and do not comment on disciplinary matters.”