Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Driver fleeing police charged in the hit-and-run death of delivery worker on Houston Street

The DA's office has indicted the hit-and-run driver who killed delivery worker Borkot Ullah as he crossed Houston Street at Clinton/Avenue B this past July.

According to the DA's office and published reports, 23-year-old Bronx resident Kenrick Cowan has been charged with manslaughter in the second degree, assault in the second degree, and leaving the scene of an incident resulting in death without reporting, among other charges, for fatally striking Ullah. According to Streetsblog, who first reported on this indictment, the top charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Authorities said that Cowan was arrested last month by the NYPD's Bronx Warrants Squad for an unrelated shooting in the Bronx and was later charged with killing Ullah, who was 24.

Around 10 p.m. on July 8, an unmarked police car pursued Cowan. Per the DA's statement:
NYPD officers attempted to pull Cowan over for speeding and committing other traffic violations as he drove his Subaru Outback eastbound on East Houston Street ... Cowan led the police officers on a high-speed chase, weaved through traffic, and drove through a red light at the corner of East Houston and Clinton Streets, where he struck Ullah — who was riding his bicycle north on Clinton Street — and then fled the scene.

As Streetsblog previously reported, a police chase preceded the collision, though the NYPD declined to comment on the case. 

Ullah is reportedly one of 13 delivery workers who have died this year in NYC — with at least 10 in crashes while on the job.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said this in a statement from this past Thursday:

"Today we remember Borkot Ullah, a young immigrant and workers' rights advocate who worked tirelessly to support his family here in New York City and in Bangladesh. Food delivery workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the City thanks to reckless drivers who tear through our streets. We are committed to ensuring accountability for drivers that kill or injure cyclists and pedestrians ..."
GoFundMe campaign raised more than $30,000 to help Ullah's family both here and in Bangladesh with expenses. His body was returned to Bangladesh, where he was buried on July 15.

This fall, a ghost bike was installed outside 8-10 Avenue B in Ullah's memory.


Sarah said...

Why in God's name would you engage in a high-speed chase down Houston just to pull over a speeder? No wonder the NYPD didn't want to comment.

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, this is not the first cyclist/pedestrian fatality to result from a police chase this year. Wasn't there just one in Brooklyn, too?

JAMES said...

Why are the Cops being blamed again?

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised it took so long to indict him. Even if the cops didn't catch him the night of the incident, they must have had his license number.

Sarah said...

The cops are being blamed because high-speed chases are very obviously dangerous and anyone with common sense knows you should only engage in them with a very good justification. Pick up the license plate of a fugitive on a murder charge, okay. Chasing a guy who was reported to have just shoved a screaming woman into his car, fine. Did anyone need to die because this jackass was speeding? Now an innocent man is dead and another fool will be seeing serious jail time over something the cops initiated.

Anonymous said...

Of course, cops are at fault when they both do nothing and something. Can't imagine why I'm not in that line of work.

Anonymous said...

The killer driving is the person who killed the bike delivery guy. the short video available shows the police are following the speeder not herding him at 70 mph between lanes - and they pull over immediately to assist after the driver hit the bicyclist. It is a horrible video even in shadows.

Anonymous said...

Speed cameras! They save lives and actually catch speeders. In this case the cops both didn’t even catch someone speeding and set the wheels of death in motion.

Anonymous said...

Because it’s irresponsible and disregards public safety to indulge in a high speed chase in Houston…to ticket a speeder?!

Anonymous said...

I'm with the police on this one. Only a psychopath speeds away when the police try to pull him over. The police had a duty to pursue. Such a sad outcome in any case.