Vance Charges Vehicular Assault for Terrifying East Village Curb-Jump Crash

A motorist who allegedly left a path of carnage and destruction in the East Village a month ago has been charged by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance with vehicular assault, a felony.

Shaun Martin, 32, of Bayside, was racing down Second Avenue in a Nissan sedan just before 7 a.m. on June 19 when he jumped a curb at E. Fourth Street and drove through a sidewalk stand in front of a bodega, striking three pedestrians and a cyclist, according to published reports.

The crash left Akkas Ali in a coma. Ali, 62, was at his flower stand outside the bodega when he was hit. Police and media said two other employees of the store were hurt, along with a man who was riding a Citi Bike.

Martin was charged with driving while intoxicated on the day of the crash, reports said. He was also charged with possession of PCP, according to online court records.

Court records show multiple charges were added on July 5: two counts of first degree vehicular assault, two counts of felony assault with serious injury, a felony count of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, felony driving while ability impaired, and felony DWAI by drugs and alcohol.

Court records indicate Martin has a prior conviction under VTL 1192, the state code section that applies to driving under the influence.

Vehicular assault is a Class C felony, for which possible sentences range from probation to 15 years in prison. A cursory search for other cases shows that vehicular assault is often charged by city prosecutors following alleged DWI crashes that result in injury.

We will keep an eye on this case. In the meantime, a fund has been established to help Akkas Ali and his family, and residents of the crash-prone East Village have applied for a DOT slow zone.