Greek-American NYPD Officer Fatally Struck at Scene of Earlier Car Crash

NYPD
A Greek-American police officer was killed in a hit and run incident on early Tuesday morning. Credit: New York City Police Department

A Greek-American police officer with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) was fatally struck in a hit-and-run incident in the early morning hours on Tuesday. 

“It is with profound sadness that I announce the passing of a valued member of @NYPDHighway Unit #3, Police Officer Anastasios Tsakos, whom was killed in the line of duty this morning on the Long Island Expressway,” Inspector Nicole Papamichael, commander of Tsakos’ unit, tweeted after his death.

Police officer Anastasios Tsakos, 43, was on the Long Island Expressway in Queens directing traffic away before 2 AM on Tuesday. NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said that the motorist who struck Tsakos was driving while intoxicated on a suspended driver’s license. 

Shea explained that Tsakos was responding with his fellow officer to the scene of a car crash that killed one motorist and the vehicle burst into flames. Tsakos was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital in Queens where doctors were unable to save his life.

The New York Times identified the motorist as 32-year old Jessica Beauvais of Hempstead, NY. Beauvais is now facing charges of vehicular manslaughter, reckless endangerment and driving while intoxicated. 

The condolences for Officer Tsakos began to pour in from across the state and country with several outside police departments tweeting their sympathy. Shea described Tsakos as an “extremely highly regarded member” of his unit. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tsakos’ death was a fresh reminder that reckless driving was a threat for all New Yorkers and that it had to be addressed to save more lives.   

“It is a reminder that there has to be a relentless, continued effort to ensure more consequences for people who drive under the influence, for people who drive recklessly,” de Blasio said.

The Greek-American community also extended its condolences after the death of Officer Tsakos on Tuesday as well. 

“The tragic death of NYPD Officer Anastasios Tsakos, while serving his community, reminds us that first responders, police, fire, medical, always place their lives on the line. May his memory be eternal,” Archbishop Elpidophoros of America wrote on Facebook.

Tsakos had been a member of the NYPD for fourteen years, according to the department. He is survived by two children, aged 3 and 6, and his wife Irene. The New York Times reports that Officer Tsakos is the first NYPD member to have been killed while on duty this year.

In a press conference held after Tsakos’ death on Tuesday, Mayor De Blasio offered his condolences to the officer’s immediate family as well as his extended family in Greece.  

Tsakos’ brother told local New York network WABC that the family was still in shock over his death. The network reported that they were currently looking for the best way to transport Tsakos’ Greek family members to Long Island for services. 

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