A Bronx cop is facing charges of vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving while under the influence in relation to the death of a 22-year-old early in the morning on Wednesday, September 14 in Wakefield.
The criminal complaint against 25-year-old Luis Arnao, who was off-duty at the time in question, alleges that he struck and killed pedestrian Tyre Chisholm while driving a 2011 Honda Accord on White Plains Road between East 240th and East 241st streets just before 4 a.m.
Arnao was released on $20,000 bail. He has plead ‘not guilty’ in Bronx Criminal Court.
“It’s been our position that this was a tragic accident. Anytime there’s a loss of life it’s a tragedy. He denies any misconduct,” said Arnao’s lawyer, Stuart London.
Arnao “was observed to have an odor of alcohol on his breath, watery and glassy eyes,” according to the complaint. It also alleges that he registered a .07 blood alcohol content. In New York State, a .05 BAC is legal evidence of driving while impaired, while .08 is evidence of intoxication.
He was given a 30-day suspension from the date of the incident by the NYPD.
Arnao joined the force in July, 2010. He was assigned to Patrol Borough Bronx.
Chisholm was pronounced dead at Jacobi Hospital.
He lived on East 226th Street, and was fondly remembered as someone who could always make those around him smile.
“He was a jokester,” said Christina Pellegrino, who supervised Chisholm at Camp Buckskin Boy Scout Camp in upstate New York, where he had worked as a steward in the dining hall.
“He always liked to joke and make people laugh,” she said. “He was genuinely nice. There is nothing I could say bad about him.”
A memorial Facebook page was also set up in Chisholm’s honor, where friends and family members left notes like “I love you best friend, I can’t stop thinking about you” and “We love and miss you.... I wish we got to chill more often.”
Services for Chisholm were held on Monday, September 19 in Wakefield and Tuesday, September 20 in Mount Vernon.
Arnao’s next court date is in October.