Man struck and killed by police patrol car in Long Island City

Posted at 9:33 AM, Feb 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-21 09:40:21-05

LONG ISLAND CITY (PIX11) — A man is dead after being hit by a police patrol car in Queens, prompting questions about what went wrong.

It happened about 12:45 a.m.  Thursday near the Queensbridge North Houses in Long Island City.

Cops say officers from P.S.A. 9, which patrols the public housing project, were responding to a call for an assault with a weapon in progress when a squad car hit an unidentified guy on 40th Avenue.

It’s not clear if the car had its lights and siren on at the time of the accident.  Cops say  the guy tried to cross the street in the middle of the block between 10th and 11th streets as the car was heading to the call and was struck and killed.

A police source tells PIX11 the man may not have heard the car because he was wearing headphones  The initial call  for the assault in the Queesbridge Houses, the largest housing project in the nation proved to be nothing.

Police are saying the housing bureau car had 2 officers inside who were taken to the hospital and treated for trauma.

Police have not said if the cars lights and siren were on, or if that is a requirement on a priority assault call.

A woman who asked not to be identified said she arrived on the scene just after the guy got hit.

“The guy’s head was opened up, his legs were twisted,” she said.

She said medics covered the man with a sheet after it looked like he took his last breath.  He was pronounced dead at the scene and removed by the medical examiner.

The woman confirmed a set of headphones was lying next to the victim’s body in the street. The investigation is continuing.