Officers in Queens arrested a man for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident after conducting an investigation using their NYPD smart phones. Police Officers Jose Suriel and Angel Ramos responded to a 911 call for a stolen vehicle at 120-31 Nashville Boulevard Monday morning. Upon arrival they were met by 31-year-old Gary Joseph who told them that several hours earlier, he left his vehicle running with the keys inside and when he returned several minutes later, the car was missing. He added that he did not call police right away because he thought that it was possible that his friends were playing a joke on him.
The officers used their department issued smart phone to run the license plate of the vehicle and discovered it had been involved in a vehicle accident earlier in the night, just a few blocks away at 198 Street and 122 Avenue. Using the information available on the smart phones, they were able to contact a witness who provided a description of a person they saw leaving the scene of the accident that matched Gary Joseph’s appearance. Mr. Joseph was transported to the 113 Precinct where he admitted to officers that he was driving the vehicle when, in an attempt to avoid striking a cat in the road, struck three parked vehicles and left the scene of the accident.
Police Officer Suriel and Ramos credited their smart phone for allowing them to access information and quickly conduct an investigation that resulted in an arrest. “Instead of going back to the station house, we could do the work right on scene,” said Police Officer Suriel.
Gary Joseph was charged with falsely reporting an incident and leaving the scene of an accident.