Arrest made in fatal car dragging

May 26, 2008 4:47:18 PM PDT
Charges were upgraded Monday against a 27-year-old driver who allegedly mowed down a woman walking to the beach in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Police say the driver, Ronald Suriano, ran down the 40-year-old victim as she crossed Brighton Beach Avenue Sunday.

When he was taken into custody, authorities reportedly found heroin and syringes in his red Mercedes-Benz sedan.

A police driver tested the brakes on the vehicle to rule out mechanical malfunction.

The victim was reportedly dragged 150 feet down Brighton Avenue.

"Me and my wife decided to do some CPR, to try and keep her from passing," one witness said. "She was already choking from her own blood, so that was tough to look at."

Officials pronounced her dead at Coney Island Hospital.

Authorities say Suriano was charged with manslaughter recklessly causing a death, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs.

Meanwhile, witnesses say he was caught by two men who had been walking with the victim. They allegedly dragged Suriano out of his car and held him until police arrived. Police say they also beat him in the process.

"As soon as the lady got hit, they ran up to the driver's side, dragged him out of the car and they were just beating him," another eyewitness said.

Suriano refused to take a breathalyzer test, and was taken to the hospital to have his blood drawn.