Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Alexandra Lopez, 52, has been charged with vehicular assault, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and other crimes for the June 28, 2022 multiple collisions that took place on 31st Avenue in Queens. The defendant struck multiple vehicles and two pedestrians – an 8-year-old girl and her grandmother – before attempting to flee the scene.

District Attorney Katz said, “As alleged, the defendant drove drunk and, in doing so, endangered the lives of two pedestrians and other motorists on the road. Few choices are more selfish than taking the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A young girl is now seriously injured, and her grandmother is recovering from trauma sustained from the car crash. The defendant will face justice in our courts for her callous actions.”

Lopez, of 45th Street in the Sunnyside section of Queens, was arraigned last night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Marty J. Lentz, on a 13-count complaint charging her with vehicular assault in the first degree, two-counts of assault in the second degree, vehicular assault in the second degree, three-counts of leaving the scene of an incident without reporting and four-counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and reckless driving.  Judge Lentz ordered the defendant to return to court on August 18, 2022. If convicted, Lopez faces up to 11 years in prison.

District Attorney Katz said, according to the charges, on June 28, 2022, at approximately 6:52 p.m. police officers responded to a multi-vehicle collision at the intersection of 68th Street and 31st Avenue. Once at the scene, the officers observed the defendant sitting in the driver’s seat of a red 2020 Toyota RAV 4 with the engine running. The officer further observed a young female complainant, identified as an 8-year-old, crying and screaming underneath the front of a nearby parked van with blood on her face, head, and clothing and with scratches on her feet. Another complainant, Maria Polazzo, 74, was observed limping with scratches on her feet. Ms. Polazzo informed the officers that the young complainant is her granddaughter and that they were crossing the street when the red vehicle hit them, causing the granddaughter to fall under the van.

Furthermore, DA Katz said, after defendant Lopez allegedly struck the two victims, she continued driving and was observed by a third complainant, Myosha Watson, to have crossed the double yellow line twice, and strike two additional vehicles including Ms. Watson’s vehicle, a 2018 Honda. According to court documents, the defendant at no time attempted to stop until crashing into a 2020 Hyundai.

The defendant was subsequently arrested and transported to the 112th police precinct, where she was observed to have an odor of alcohol on her breath, bloodshot watery eyes, and swaying on her feet. While at the precinct, officers administered a breathalyzer exam that indicated the defendant as allegedly having a .196 blood alcohol content, well over the legal limit of .08.

Both pedestrian victims were immediately transported to a local Queens hospital where the young girl continues to be treated for a broken nose, head trauma, and liver damage. Her grandmother, Maria Polazzo, is being treated for swelling to her legs.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Theodorou, of the DA’s Felony Trial Bureau I is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Robin Leopold, Bureau Chief, Barry S. Weinrib and Andrea Medina, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of Trials Pishoy Yacoub.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.