Jessenia Fajardo fatally struck Upper West Side doorman Alfred Pocari with a car that was jailed for six years
A female motorist who blew through a red light and killed an Upper West Side doorman has been sentenced to two to six years in prison.
Jessenia Fajardo, 38, whose driver’s license was suspended twice, plowed through traffic lights on Manhattan’s West End Avenue in her Acura on July 19, 2019, hitting 64-year-old grandfather-to-triplets Alfred Pocari.
Pocari crossed West 98th Street and walked to his building to begin his service as a doorman.
Jessenia Fajardo, 38, will be photographed on Friday in her conviction in the Manhattan Supreme Court
Fajardo had nine moving foul tickets when she blew through a red light in July 2019
The red light that Fajardo was driving through had been on for six seconds as she read a text message
Fajardo was also charged with assault for running over the foot of a pedestrian in May 2019
Alfred Pocari crossed the street and was walking to work as a doorman on West End Avenue when he was beaten and later died of his injuries
The collision on affluent West End Avenue occurred after Fajardo read a text message on her phone and then decided to drive through the traffic light that had been red for six seconds.
Pocari died in hospital five days later as a result of his injuries.
Fajardo was also seriously injured to another woman at the time of the incident, shattering her pelvis.
The woman allegedly then tried to talk to officers on the spot, according to the New York Daily News and tried to insist that the traffic light was still green.
“I saw the light was green to me, so I thought the light I was going through was green,” she said. She also claimed not to have seen Pocari and the woman on the pedestrian crossing.
She also tried to get pity from NYPD agents by telling them that her apartment in the Bronx had been burned down and that her own child’s father had also been in prison – for vehicle manslaughter.
Pocari had moved to the US from Albania and was a grandfather of three triplets, all girls
Fajardo was found to have nine moving foul tickets on her driving record.
Her long criminal history includes two convictions for driving without a license, authorities said.
In her sentencing on Friday, Fajardo openly wept as two victims read lengthy impact statements describing the loss they suffered as a result of the crash.
Fajardo then turned to court and tearfully declared that she regretted what had happened.
The Manhattan District Attorney had recommended a sentence of five to 15 years, the maximum under New York law, but the judge ordered two to six years.
“The death of Alfred Pocari, a beloved grandfather of three, was not only tragic – it was a foreseeable and devastating consequence of the defendant’s usually reckless driving,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. in a press release.
The collision took place in July 2019 on West End Avenue and 98th Street
The SUV Fajardo was driving can be seen, left behind, while the police carried it out and conducted the investigation
“Our laws are fundamentally broken when it takes the death of a fellow New Yorker to get a driver with a history of reckless behavior off the road, as shown in this case.”
“My father came from Albania for a better life for his family,” said Pocari’s son, Samiar Pocari. ‘My father was a dreamer. He had big dreams for all of us. His personal dream came true when his three granddaughters arrived.
‘He was a hardworking man who worked hard for me and my sister. He was a virtuous man who stood up for his beliefs, ”said Samiar. “He was the rock of our family.”
Fajardo’s attorney, Allen Farbman, said she was “devastated” and fully accepted responsibility for her actions.
At the time she was charged, Fajardo was also charged with assault for running over the foot of another pedestrian during a separate driving incident in Tribeca in May 2019.
“My father came from Albania for a better life for his family,” said Pocari’s son, Samiar Pocari, in the photo next to Alfred. ‘My father was a dreamer. He had big dreams for all of us. His personal dream came true when his three granddaughters arrived. ‘
In that incident, she ran over the foot of a 47-year-old man standing on a pedestrian crossing on Desbrosses and Washington streets, authorities said.
Fajardo got out of her SUV, but drove off quickly after the victim informed her that he would report it.
Police caught up with her after the victim managed to take a photo of her license plate before leaving the scene.
When the police questioned her, she disputed the man’s story about what had happened.
‘I know the incident you are talking about. I don’t think I hit him. I thought he was just exaggerating. This makes no sense, ‘said the complaint.
‘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 go to work. I am on probation. ‘