By Joy Bergmann
As WSR first reported, NYPD arrested Jessenia Fajardo, 38, of Walden, New York, after the 2011 Acura RDX she was driving crashed into and severely injured two pedestrians – local doorman Alfred Pocari and an unidentified 65-year-old woman – Friday afternoon at the intersection of 98th Street and West End Avenue. Fajardo has thus far been charged with two counts of failure to yield to pedestrians, operating a vehicle without insurance, disobeying a traffic device and failure to exercise due care in connection with this case, NYPD officials said.
A Manhattan District Attorney’s office spokesperson says Fajardo was released without bail and her case was adjourned until Wednesday, July 24.
Deputy Inspector Seth Lynch of the 24th Precinct tells WSR that the NYPD Collision Investigation Squad is continuing its examination of the crash. It’s unclear when those findings will become publicly available.
WSR attempted to reach Jessenia Fajardo for comment; our phone message has not been returned.
According to NYPD spokesperson Det. Denise Moroney, Fajardo has been arrested at least six prior times:
06-16-19 1st Precinct [Lower Manhattan] – Leaving the Scene of an Accident
05-01-19 44th Precinct [Bronx] – Aggravated Unlicensed Operator
05-18-17 44th Precinct – Aggravated Unlicensed Operator
05-31-16 44th Precinct – Introduce Contraband to Prisoner [Bronx District Attorney’s 2016 press release here]
07-01-14 42nd Precinct [Bronx] – Extradition Procedure Violation
08-31-06 33rd Precinct [Washington Heights, Manhattan] – Grand Larceny
We asked the Manhattan and Bronx District Attorneys’ offices for information regarding the dispensation of these cases e.g. convictions, current status, etc.
The Manhattan DA’s spokesperson provided a detective’s statement from the complaint in the June 16, 2019 “leaving the scene” matter that reports:
[The victim] was walking in the crosswalk at the intersection of Desbrosses Street and Washington Street in Manhattan, when he observed a motor vehicle turn into the crosswalk and run over his left foot. [He] then observed the driver stop the motor vehicle and get out of her car. [He] then told the woman that she had run over his foot and he was going to file a report.
The woman then returned to her vehicle and drove away from the location without providing Mr. ___ with her name, insurance information, or any other identifying information. He then pulled out his cell phone and took pictures of the above-described motor vehicle.
I observed the photographs that Mr. ___ took of the above-described vehicle and observed that the driver was operating a gray 2011 Acura RDX SUV, bearing New York license plate number JER1919. I conducted a computer check of that license plate number and it revealed that it was registered to the defendant.
The defendant [Fajardo] stated in substance to me: “I know the incident that you are talking about. I don’t believe that I hit him. I thought he was just exaggerating. This doesn’t make any sense. If I hit his foot, wouldn’t I have hit other parts of his body? I left when he went to call the police because I had to get to work. I am on probation.”
That case is open and pending, the Manhattan DA’s office says. The August 2006 Manhattan case concerned Fajardo’s unauthorized use of a credit card number; in March 2007, “she pleaded guilty to Identity Theft in the Second Degree and was sentenced to five years probation,” the spokesperson says.
A spokesperson from the Bronx District Attorney’s office reports that in the May 1, 2019 Aggravated Unlicensed Operator (a misdemeanor) matter, Fajardo pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle without a license (a violation) and received a fine of $75; however a bench warrant was issued on July 3rd in the matter “because she did not pay the fine.” She also pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle without a license in the May 2017 case. Fajardo pleaded guilty to the May 2016 charge of promoting prison contraband in the second degree and received three years probation. The spokesperson was unable to find anything in her system regarding the July 2014 “Extradition Procedure Violation” matter.
WSR plugged the New York license plate number of the vehicle involved in the Upper West Side crash into NYC’s database of Open Parking and Camera Violations issued by the City of New York. The system reveals 32 violations received since December 2018, including one in January for “Failure to Stop at a Red Light.” These reported violations are tied to the license plate number, not an individual driver.
Thanks to WSR commenters Mark, Dan and Robert [among others] for their tips.