April 18, 2019 By Christian Murray
A Long Island City man who plowed down a 17-year-old high school student with his minivan in 2017 pleaded guilty to assault today and will be sentenced to nine years in prison.
Richard Keith, 51, pleaded guilty to first degree assault for recklessly driving his 2008 Dodge Caravan onto the sidewalk and hitting the victim on Oct. 31, 2017. The victim was with a group of teenagers purportedly out egging on Halloween night.
Keith’s car was struck by an egg at approximately 8:20 p.m. by a member of the group. An enraged Keith drove his vehicle toward the teens at the intersection of 23rd Street and Jackson Avenue.
The victim, Christopher Miraba, 17, tried to run away by crossing Jackson Avenue, but the defendant followed in his car across the street and intentionally struck the teenager.
Additionally, Keith reversed the vehicle running over the victim a second time and then drove forward, running over the teenager a third time before fleeing the scene. The defendant did not stop and did not provide aid to the victim.
Keith drove approximately half a block before stopping. When an eyewitness approached his vehicle and stated that Keith may have killed a person, the defendant, in sum and substance, said “f— that. He wants to hit people with eggs, that’s what he gets.”
Miraba was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for his injuries, which included a fractured skull base, multiple spinal fractures, bruised lungs, a broken right femur, a pelvic fracture and a broken right ankle.
Miraba’s friends raised nearly $10,000 via a GoFundMe page to help his parents cover his medical costs. Miraba, according to reports, did not throw the egg.
Keith pleaded guilty before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry S. Kron. Justice Kron said that he would sentence the defendant, on May 16, to a determinate term of nine years in prison and three years post release supervision.
Chief Assistant District Attorney John M. Ryan was critical of Keith’s actions.
“Because of this defendant’s actions – using his vehicle as if it were a two ton weapon – this young victim suffered serious injuries that still affect him to this day. The defendant has admitted his guilt and will spend considerable time in prison for acting out in anger to settle a petty dispute.”