On Sunday, an off-duty rookie NYPD officer named Vincent Harrison was killed by a hit-and-run driver on the New Jersey Turnpike. According to a local news report, Harrison told another driver “I can kill you right now” in a bizarre scene moments before his death.
Before the fatal crash, Harrison got into a minor accident with another driver, which prompted him to exit his car and speak with her. Initial reports noted that he had drawn his gun drawn as he approached the other driver’s car, but the nature of the conversation was not immediately clear. At some point as Harrison stood on or near the roadway, a third driver named William Espinal-Mejia allegedly struck him with his Infiniti and kept driving. Harrison died on the scene.
Authorities say Harrison had rear ended a vehicle driven by a 26-year-old Rahway woman who was traveling southbound in the Turnpike’s right center lane. Harrison got out of his vehicle and walked up to the other car, occupied by the woman in the driver’s seat and her 2-year-old son in the back.
The two reportedly got into a verbal dispute, and sources say Harrison pulled his service weapon and pointed it at the woman, who was remained seated in her car. He allegedly yelled words to the effect of, “You don’t know who I am” and “I can kill you right now” numerous times.
As Harrison backed away from the woman, he stepped into the Turnpike traffic lanes and was struck by a passing vehicle.
William Espinal-Mejia, the alleged hit-and-run driver, is being charged with second-degree leaving the scene of a fatal accident, the New York Daily News reports. His bail is $100,000.