Yonkers PD trying to determine why driver fled cops before fatal crash


The career criminal who caused a horrific Yonkers crash that killed four teenagers and himself by fleeing cops would have “more than likely” gotten off with just a warning if he had just pulled over, police said Thursday.

Detective Lt. Dean Politopoulos told lohud.com Thursday that police still haven’t figured out why Devon Haywood fled cops after officers on patrol saw his 2009 Infiniti sedan driving erratically and tried to pull him over Tuesday.

Police have not found anything illegal in Haywood’s vehicle — and won’t know if he was drunk until a toxicology report is completed by the Westchester County coroner, the outlet said.

Politopoulos said the investigation is ongoing.

Cops tried to pull Haywood over just after 9:20 p.m., but he sped off, according to police.

He slammed into a silver 2006 Nissan sedan at the intersection of Culver Street, splitting the car in two and killing all four 18-year-olds inside — Brandon Sierra, Randy Brisbane, Tamari Watkins, and Anthony Cruz.

Haywood was taken to Jacobi Hospital Medical Center, where he died.

Yonkers crash victims (clockwise from top left); Brandon Sierra, Randy Brisbane, Anthony Cruz and Tamari Watkins
Yonkers crash victims (clockwise from top left); Brandon Sierra, Randy Brisbane, Anthony Cruz and Tamari Watkins

Records show that Haywood has two open criminal cases in Mount Vernon — a weapons possession and menacing case and a separate aggravated harassment case, both stemming from a Nov. 19 arrest.

Haywood, who authorities said was nicknamed “Telz,” was also sentenced to four years in federal prison in 2007 after pleading guilty to drug sale charges.

Politopoulos said the officers who attempted to pull Haywood over were “placed off-duty as per internal procedures and will be interviewed by internal affairs, lohud said.

However, Yonkers police said in a statement that officers were not engaged in a high-speed chase with Haywood prior to the crash.

“Our officers are trained to assess every situation and in this case disengaged and did not pursue to avoid this exact outcome,” the statement said. “The sector car was approximately 15 seconds behind and not in emergency mode.”

Surveillance video posted by police on Facebook Wednesday shows Haywood’s vehicle racing down Riverdale Avenue with a Yonkers squad car well behind at a slower speed.

Haywood’s family declined to speak to The Post on Thursday, as did the grieving families of the four men killed in the crash.

Mourners held a vigil for the four men late Wednesday.

On Thursday, at least three memorials had sprung up for the victims — two of them at the scene of the deadly crash.

Hundreds of candles marked the scene of the vigil.

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