BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
A Corona man has been charged and could face up to seven years in prison after allegedly running over an elderly man in Whitestone on Thanksgiving Day, the Queens district attorney said.
According to the complaint, at approximately 6:45 p.m. on Nov. 23, Carmine Minichino, 52, of Corona, was driving a 2009 white Chevy van in Whitestone when he allegedly drove through a stop sign and struck Paul Sim, 71, causing the victim to land several feet away. Minichino then allegedly sped away, abandoned his vehicle after a short distance and fled on foot.
Sim was rushed to a local hospital with a compound fracture to his right leg and bleeding in the brain, but is expected to survive, Queens DA Richard Brown said.
Minichino allegedly returned to retrieve his car later that day. When police approached him, he allegedly had a moderate odor of alcohol on his breath and his eyes were bloodshot and watery. Minichino was allegedly unable to produce a valid driver’s license and his intoxication exam results indicated that he had 0.152 percent or more of alcohol in his blood.
“A 71-year-old Queens man is lucky to be alive today after being hit and seriously injured while out walking in Whitestone on Thanksgiving Day,” said Brown. “An alleged drunk driver is now charged with this near-fatal crash. The defendant in this case is alleged to have not only hit a pedestrian, but then selfishly left the scene without offering any assistance to the victim. If convicted, the defendant faces a lengthy term of incarceration.”
Minichino was arraigned on Friday on charges of second-degree assault, second-degree vehicular assault, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting physical injury, operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and failure to stop for a stop sign.
Minichino has been ordered to return to court on Dec. 11. If convicted, he could face up to seven years in prison, the DA said.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144, firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.