Cops won’t be charged in Belt Parkway shooting

NYPD officers Theresa Haley and Matthew Mellas won’t face criminal charges for shooting and killing 65-year-old Brian Astarita, who pointed a BB gun at them after a high-speed chase on the Belt Parkway Nov. 11, 2021.

Attorney General Letitia James’ Office of Special Investigation (OSI) released a 10-page document Feb. 24 that concluded the evidence is “insufficient to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Haley and Officer Mellas were justified under New York law in using deadly physical force. Therefore, OSI will not seek charges in the matter.”

The report said Haley was conducting radar enforcement in an unmarked car on the eastbound side of the Belt Parkway and clocked Astarita’s jeep at 21 mph over the speed limit.

Police investigate the scene where Brian Astarita was shot and killed in 2021.
File photos courtesy of Loudlabs News NYC

After he was pulled over at a rest area west of the Verrazzano Bridge, Astarita told Haley that his license was suspended. He then sped away.

Haley ran back to her car and drove after him. She pulled her car in front of his Jeep several times to try to stop him, but he pulled around her and continued to speed.

Between the Bay Parkway and Cropsey Avenue exits, Haley got in front of the Jeep and Mellas stopped his car next to Haley’s. Both officers got out of their cars.

Astarita got out of his Jeep and took out a BB gun, which looked like a black, semi-automatic firearm. He then got back into the driver’s seat of his Jeep before getting out again and pointing the gun at the officers.

Both officers repeatedly told Astarita to drop the gun and he yelled that they should let him go. Haley then fired 16 shots while Mellas fired 11.

Astarita was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The post Cops won’t be charged in Belt Parkway shooting appeared first on The Brooklyn Home Reporter.

By: Jaime DeJesus
Title: Cops won’t be charged in Belt Parkway shooting
Sourced From:
Published Date: Tue, 07 Mar 2023 00:09:10 +0000

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