Ex-NYPD officer charged with fatal car crash in Valley Stream


A Lindenhurst man was arraigned in connection with a fatal drunk driving accident in Valley Stream.

Aaron Cooper, 26, was hit with a spate of charges including manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter on April 16. 

Cooper, who stood before Judge Christopher Quinn, pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison. He is due back in court on May 30.

Police found Cooper’s 2023 Toyota Supra overturned on Rosedale Road in Valley Stream on Feb. 10 at 4:30 a.m. and his lone passenger, 22-year-old Pablo Rivera, dead. He was reportedly racing up and down Rosedale Road. While heading west at a high speed, he crossed the double yellow line into the opposite lane and allegedly lost control of the car, striking a utility pole and a tree.

According to the crash data recorder, just two seconds before the crash, Cooper was allegedly driving at roughly 109 mph. He was swiftly taken to Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital for treatment including several broken ribs.

At the hospital, Cooper allegedly told detectives that he was currently a police officer in the 17th Precinct in New York City. He was terminated from his employment with the NYPD in January 2023 and his license remains suspended.

Blood taken from the driver at the hospital revealed a blood alcohol content of .16% nearly one hour after the crash, noted Donelly.

“The defendant, a former NYPD officer, was allegedly drunk and showing off his turbocharged sports car, recklessly racing up and down Rosedale Road at speeds toping 100 miles per hour,” said Donelly in a news release “The joyride turned deadly when the driver lost control of the vehicle and barreled through a utility pole and tree, killing his young passenger Pablo Rivera.”

She continued: “This horrific crash and senseless death were completely preventable. It is disheartening that after all these years of education about drunk and drugged driving this type of crash is still an all too regular occurrence.”

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Brianna Ryan and Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Carra of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau. Cooper is bering represented by Richard Hochhauser, Esq.

Hochhauser, according to media sources, expressed profound heartache for the deadly incident on behalf of his client in a statement.

“Our hearts go out to those affected by this tragic incident. Aaron is devastated by the loss of life, and he and his family extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Rivera,” he wrote. “We recognize the seriousness of the charges and are fully cooperating with authorities as they continue to conduct their investigation.”

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