Long Island woman found guilty in hit-and-run death of NYPD Detective Anastasios Tsakos

WABC logo
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Woman convicted in fatal hit and run death of NYPD officer
Michelle Charlesworth reports from Kew Gardens, Queens with the latest.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A Long Island woman has been found guilty on all counts in the hit-and-run death of an NYPD detective in Queens back in 2021.

Jessica Beauvais, 34, of Hempstead, was convicted of aggravated manslaughter and other offenses in the death of 43-year-old NYPD Detective Anastasios Tsakos.

Prosecutors say Beauvais admitted drinking and smoking marijuana before getting behind the wheel on April 27, 2021.

Detective Tsakos, a member of the department's highway unit, was directing traffic after a separate crash on the Long Island Expressway when Beauvais sped through the traffic cones in a 2013 Volkswagen Passat and struck the detective.

Tsakos was thrown into the air, landing some 170 feet away on the highway's shoulder, prosecutors said.

His left leg was severed from the knee down, and he died at a nearby hospital.

Beauvais fled the scene and was arrested after police chased her for three miles. Two hours after the incident, investigators said, she had a blood alcohol content of .15, well above the legal limit of .08.

"The defendant had absolutely no business being behind the wheel," said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. "Her selfish decision-making and recklessness led to a horrific, senseless tragedy that left Detective Tsakos' widow to raise their two young children without their father. We are grateful for the jury's verdict and hope it brings at least some measure of solace to the detective's loved ones."

Detective Tsakos' wife, Irene, read a statement in court. In tears Monday, she talked about being called to Presbyterian Hospital in Queens to say goodbye to her dead husband, who was covered with a sheet.

Their children, a 6-year-old son, and 8-year-old daughter, have had to mourn their father's death and will grow up without a man who Irene Tsakos has called the "love of her life."

"Let's not forget today is Halloween, and Thanksgiving is coming up, and then after that Christmas, and those children are not going to have a father again this year," PBA President Patrick Hendry said.

Standing in solidarity, Tsakos' fellow officers stood behind the PBA president who said they are all relieved but this is no time for celebration.

"Today our hero officer is not coming back," Hendry said.

Beauvais faces up to 27 years in prison. Sentencing is set for December.

RELATED: Thousands attend wake for NYPD officer killed in the line of duty

Thousands of well wishers attended a wake Monday for NYPD Officer Anastasios Tsakos, who was killed in the line of duty when he was struck by an alleged drunk driver on the Long Is


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New York City news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.