Driver showed ‘depraved indifference'

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    Chester — The driver who led police on a high-speed chase that ended in a near-fatal collision on July 20 has been charged with 13 counts of criminal behavior. The Orange County Grand Jury handed down an indictment on Monday against Daniel M. Mooney (aka Daniel M. Garcia). Mooney, "evincing a depraved indifference to human life ...created a grave risk of death" to Robert Ferrara and Christine Malec, the indictment states. Ferrara, a Town of Chester police officer, was badly hurt that night when his police cruiser collided with an SUV driven by Mooney. Mooney had evaded a Village of Chester police officer who tried to stop him for speeding on Route 17M in the village. The crash happened on Greycourt Avenue, as town and village officers pursued him through the village's back streets. Malec is Mooney's 22-year-old girlfriend and was a passenger in the SUV when the accident occurred. Malec was also seriously injured that night. The indictment includes 13 charges: two counts of first-degree assault; two counts of second-degree assault for recklessly causing serious injury by means of a dangerous instrument (a motor vehicle); one count of first-degree reckless endangerment; four counts of second-degree vehicular assault; one charge of first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle; one count of fourth-degree criminal mischief; and two counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor. Mooney, a resident of Bayonne, N.J., and a former Chester resident, is still at Westchester Medical Center, where he was transported after the collision. Orange County sheriff's deputies are guarding him at the hospital, according to Town of Chester Police Chief Brian Jarvis.