A 37-year-old man from the Bronx has been charged with second degree murder and other crimes in connection with a deadly hit-and-run on Metropolitan Avenue near Metro Mall last Tuesday, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
A 25-year-old man died as a result of the crash with the box truck.
“This is a tragic incident that was caused by the alleged criminal actions of this defendant,” Katz said. “The defendant is in custody and faces very serious charges.”
Ramon Pena, 37, was charged with second degree murder, second degree manslaughter, third degree grand larceny and other crimes, including leaving the scene without reporting death and other traffic violations.
If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.
On June 30, Pena allegedly stole the box truck that was parked with keys in the ignition from 101st Avenue in Jamaica. The truck was seen “striking in excess of 20 parked and moving cars” along Humboldt and Metropolitan avenues.
The truck went through multiple red lights and drove on the wrong side of the street.
Pena allegedly struck the 25-year-old victim, Hamlet Cruz-Gomez, who was driving a Honda CRV, while he was exiting the Metro Mall parking lot.
The defendant then jumped out of the box truck after the collision and ran away into the nearby Metropolitan Avenue subway station. Police apprehended him inside the station.
According to Katz, Pena doesn’t have a valid drive’s license and has no driving history in the state.