FDNY FF sentenced to prison for 2019 off-duty wreck that injured 3

According to a criminal complaint, Omar Juarez Rivera had a "moderate" odor of alcohol on his breath, his face was flushed, his eyes were watery, and his speech was slurred

Frank Donnelly
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — An off-duty city firefighter lost his job over a St. Patrick's Day 2019 crash that occurred when he slammed his sports car into a pole in Port Richmond while drunk and speeding at over 100 mph.

Three passengers were injured, two seriously.

Now, Omar Juarez Rivera has lost his freedom.

The defendant has been sentenced to two years in prison stemming from the March 17, 2019 wreck.

A criminal complaint said the crash occurred at around 3:45 a.m., at the intersection of Post and Decker avenues.

Juarez Rivera was driving a 2012 Mustang when he plowed into a metal pole, said the complaint.

The airbags deployed and the auto's front end was damaged, the complaint said.

Responding officers found three people lying on the ground injured, two seriously, the complaint said.

One victim's injuries included a broken leg; another's included a broken arm, said the complaint.

Juarez Rivera left the scene but was arrested less than an hour later, court papers said.

The defendant lives near the crash site, said police.

There was a "moderate" odor of alcohol on his breath, his face was flushed, his eyes were watery, and his speech was slurred, said the complaint.

A test showed his blood alcohol content was .108 percent, the complaint said.

The legal threshold in New York for driving while intoxicated is .08 percent.

The defendant was indicted on charges including first- and second-degree assault, vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, leaving an incident scene and driving while intoxicated.

The first-degree assault charge alleged Juarez Rivera recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death to one victim who was seriously injured.

Specifically, the defendant drove while intoxicated at a high rate of speed exceeding 100 mph and ignored his passengers' commands to slow down and maintain his lane, said the indictment.

In December, Juarez Rivera, then 30, resolved the case by pleading guilty to second-degree assault.

Besides prison time, the defendant was sentenced on Tuesday in state Supreme Court, St. George, to three years' post-release supervision.

"He's a very good person; this is terribly unfortunate, and he's extremely regretful," said defense lawyer David J. Cohen after Juarez Rivera's sentencing hearing. "He's a changed man, and, considering his position with a new family and the collateral consequences, I believe the length of the prison sentence is harsh."

At the time of the crash, Juarez Rivera was assigned to Engine Co. 160 in Concord.

He was suspended without pay afterward.

After the sentencing hearing, an FDNY spokeswoman said Juarez Rivera would be terminated.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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