YONKERS, NY — DECEMBER 23, 2020 — On Tuesday, December 22, 2020, at 9:20 pm, a white 2009 Infiniti was spotted by Yonkers Police at South Broadway and Prospect Street being driven “in an erratic manner”, better known as a V&T (Vehicle & Traffic Violation).
Police followed the vehicle until they caught up with it when it turned onto Riverdale Avenue facing in a southerly direction. YPD signaled the vehicle to stop. Initially it seemed as though the Infiniti was going to comply as it slowed, but that was a ruse. The Infiniti increased speed incrementally “beyond reckless speeds” as it approached the Culver Street intersection where the Infiniti slammed into a 2006 Nissan sedan with four 18-year-old Yonkersites. The high speed collision split the Nissan in half. Randy Brisbane, Anthony Cruz, Brandon Sierra, and Tamari Watkins all died at the scene. The four teenagers had graduated from Saunders Trades and Technical High School this year.
“Yonkers Police Detective Lieutenant Dean Politopoulos, Yonkers Police Commissioner John Mueller’s Department of Communication and Public Information Officer had on Wednesday, December 23, 2020, at 1:10pm issued the following communique stating, “The police were not engaged in a high-speed pursuit – we are asking the media to please not transpose the actions of the reckless driver onto the officers trying to enforce the law. This was a terrible tragedy and we mourn the loss of these four young men,” he said.
“Our officers are trained to assess every situation and in this case disengaged and did not pursue to avoid this exact type of outcome. The sector car was approximately 15-seconds behind and not in emergency mode” noted Politopoulos. Yet the video intended to corroborate the Yonkers Police Department assertion, instead negated Politopoulos’ as per the video the YPD released:
The video herein speaks for itself. An Infiniti, later found to have been driven by Devon Haywood of Mount Vernon in a southerly direction was in fact pursued by a YPD Sedan at a clocked speed of some 90 miles per hour.
Politopoulos informs the reader that, “Mr. Haywood has a history of reckless driving.” D/Lt. Politopoulos then writes, “Our sincere condolences to the families – I cannot fathom their loss.”
Studies assert that impact doubles for every 10 miles per hour increase in speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour.