Driver Arraigned On Multiple Counts In New Year's Eve Crash

Modified: May 26, 2017 2:10pm

5/25/2017

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 31-year-old Abdikadir Jaffar of Utica has been arraigned before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case on an indictment charging him with five counts of Aggravated Vehicular Assault, three counts of Assault in the Second Degree and one count of Assault in the Third Degree. 

It is alleged that on January 1, 2017  at approximately 1:11 a.m., while having a BAC of .22%, more than twice the legal limit, the defendant was driving recklessly on Richmond Avenue in Buffalo, striking a car being driven by Anthony Hill, causing Hill's passenger 20-year-old Anabellin Cruz of Buffalo to suffer a concussion. 

The defendant is accused of continuing over the curb, striking a pole, snapping it off and then driving onto the sidewalk, striking multiple pedestrians, including:  16-year-old Nathan Kahn of Buffalo who lost his left leg above the knee, 15-year-old Benjamin Weigel of Orchard Park who suffered a concussion, herniated discs and other back issues and 62-year-old Christopher Sheppard who suffered a broken pelvis and two broken legs. 

The defendant pleaded not guilty and was remanded to jail without bail. If convicted of all the charges, Jaffar faces a maximum of 15 years in prison. 

DA Flynn commends the outstanding investigative work of Buffalo Police Department AIU Lt. Thomas Leatherbarrow, Officer Robert Heidinger and Officer Marie Schreckenberger and Amherst Police Officer Robert McMahon. 

Chief Kelley A. Omel and Assistant District Attorney Christopher M. McCarthy of the DA’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Nash are prosecuting the case. 

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.