The New York Police Department (NYPD) has announced it will be investigating two police officers for their roles in a potential coverup of a 2018 high-speed chase through the Queens area of New York that ended in a fatal crash of two lovers.
The police officers, Andrew Diaz and Oscar Lopez, were in hot pursuit of motorcyclist Steven Goddard and his girlfriend Amy Gutierrez through the rainy streets on Nov. 10, 2018, which resulted in the deaths of Goddard and Gutierrez when the bike collided with another car, NewYork lawyers admitted this week.
Both were ghastly thrown from the Suzuki motorcycle and died in a nearby hospital.
In police reports and information given out to the media the following day, there was no mention of a chase by police officers rather just a report of a tragic accident.
But video obtained by the New York Daily News in March showed the pursuit of the bike in the rain, during which an unmarked car with flashing police lights chased the motorcycle.
The videos show the man and his girlfriend on motorcycle chased by police.
The NYPD in 2018 declined to comment on a lawsuit filed by the family of Goddard, 22, and Guttierez, 20, and refused to answer questions frommedia agencies about whether it was a police chase and the name of the officers that were involved.
Now, the city’s law department have provided the names of Diaz and Lopez in a court filing and admitted there was an ongoing NYPD investigation of the incident.
The lawsuit names Lopez and Diaz as defendants, and claims the two officers left the scene of the crash as Goddard and Gutierrez lay dying.
It also claims that Goddard and Gutierrez were not committing any crimes when the chase began, “much less a serious offense meriting a high speed pursuit in the rain on wet and slippery roads.”
“During the course of reviewing this matter, the undersigned has recently learned that there is an ongoing investigation by the NYPD arising out of the incident alleged in the complaint into the newly named defendant officers,” wrote Assistant Corporation Counsel Joseph Zangrilli .
The officers also already knew Goddard, according to the lawsuit.
The two officers “had interacted with him previously about not wanting him to ride his motorbike,” the suit states, though it isn’t clear how the lawyers know that.
“Due to their being aware of their wrongful and illegal behavior, the defendants fled the scene of the incident, leaving the plaintiff’s decedent and his passenger on the street bleeding and suffering,” wrote lawyers for the victims’ families.
The revelation that Lopez and Diaz are being investigated is a sigh of relief for Goddard’s father, named Steven Goddard (pictured below)
“It’s a bittersweet situation where I’m glad it’s not going to be swept under the carpet. But it’s like I’m reliving it all over again. It’s sad at the same time,” Goddard told The NewYork Daily News.
“They’re going to pay for their poor decisions. They’re not just getting away scot-free with this. It’s all surreal to me right now.”
The families are suing the city for $6 million.