Police arrested 55 year old David Cruz of Bay Ridge on Friday and charged him in the death of 65 year old Gavriel Mardaknayevy. He was arraigned on Saturday and released on $50,000 bail, a decision that one law enforcement source called “shocking and irresponsible,” noting that Cruz is a danger to the public and should be considered a flight risk.
As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2mjya6c), Mardaknayevy was killed after he got out of his car at a red light to confront the driver of a white panel truck that allegedly hit his car a few minutes earlier in a parking lot.
When police managed to track Cruz down several hours after the incident, his blood alcohol level measured .109, exceeding the state’s legal limit of .08, reported The New York Post (http://nyp.st/2mj09Tz).
Cruz’s attorney Michael Farkas said that statements made by witnesses and video of the incident indicate that his client may not have even been aware that he had hit Mardaknayevy. According to The Daily News (http://nydn.us/2mjQFr7), Farkas also laid at least some of the blame on the dead man.
“What we do know is that the victim chased down and confronted my client,” said Farkas. “It created a situation that my client reacted to. It is likely [that] this was a horrible accident.”
Cruz is a project manager at Eagle Team NYC, a maintenance and electrical company. His manager, Vadim Tarnovsky said that he had given Cruz, a veteran, Friday off so that he could take advantage of the holiday weekend. According to Tarnovsky, Cruz’s vehicle was equipped with a daschcam but it was not recording at the time of the accident.
Cruz was charged with murder in the second degree, drunken driving and reckless endangerment. He said nothing at his arraignment and his lawyer reported that he is devastated by Mardaknayevy’s death.
Roommate Khalil Jabrane described Cruz as a quiet and respectful person who was not prone to anger.
“I never saw him get mad about anything,” said Jabrane.